Arthur & George was wonderfully compelling--much more interesting to me than Barnes' England, England, which I thought I would just love, but didn't. The characters in the latter left me cold while Arthur (Conan Doyle) and George were, to my mind, complex and well-crafted portraits. The minute exploration of the class system and the intricately corrupt legal system called to mind Little Dorrit, which is a good thing in my book. Barnes tackles true love, marriage, fame, honor, the search for purpose and self-worth, aging, and spirituality. The solving of the "mystery" isn't so important, it's the revelation of the characters as the story unfolds that makes Arthur & George a true page-turner.