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This article is for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character. For other versions of the character see Versions of Inspector Lestrade.

"All my instincts are one way, and all the facts are the other, and I much fear that British juries have not yet attained that pitch of intelligence when they will give the preference to my theories over Lestrade's facts."
Sherlock Holmes [src]

Inspector G. Lestrade is a Scotland Yard detective appearing in several of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle used the name of an acquaintance from his days at the University of Edinburgh, a Saint Lucian whom Doyle disliked, although it has also been suggested that the name is an anagram of "Dearest L", a reference to Conan Doyle's first wife, Louisa. In "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", Lestrade's first initial is revealed to be G, which may be a reference to the Prefect of Police known only as "G—" in the short story "The Purloined Letter" by Edgar Allan Poe which features Doyle's inspiration for Holmes, C. Auguste Dupin. Like Lestrade, "G—" also functions to provide the facts of the case. Lestrade is described as "a little sallow rat-faced, dark-eyed fellow" in A Study in Scarlet and "a lean, ferret-like man, furtive and sly-looking," in "The Boscombe Valley Mystery'.


While Holmes is initially dismissive of the man's capabilities, he would later come to call him "the best of the professionals" (The Hound of the Baskervilles), appreciating the man's tenacity in following any lead the amateur would give, likening it to that of a bloodhound or bulldog on a trail of blood (The Adventure of the Cardboard Box). Furthermore, Lestrade was skilled enough as an investigator to reach the rank of Inspector on his own, and recognise when he was out of his depth.


Inspector Lestrade is one of the characters who has appeared the most in the Sherlock Holmes canon, excluding Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. He has appeared in a total of 13 Holmes stories.

The number of times Lestrade made his appearance in the entire series:[]



Dennis Hoey played Lestrade in the 1940s film series alongside Basil Rathbone's Holmes and Nigel Bruce's Watson. His role was mostly for comic relief, sharing the role of a bumbling old fool with Watson. He appeared in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943), The Spider Woman (1944), The Pearl of Death (1944), Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear (1945) and Terror by Night (1946).

Actor Frank Finlay portrayed Lestrade in 1965's A Study in Terror, and again in Murder By Decree (1979).

Eddie Marsan played Inspector Lestrade in the 2009 film and its sequel. This version of Lestrade highly dislikes Holmes but actually comes to Holmes's aid in both films.

The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes features William Huw as Lestrade, who here is known for taking the credit for many cases which Holmes solved himself. He is the former police partner of Holmes's estranged brother Thorpe, who becomes the cybernetic supervillain Spring-Heeled Jack, blaming Lestrade for a bullet wound in his spine. Lestrade here is cowardly and untrusting.

Adeel Akhtar portrays him in Enola Holmes and Enola Holmes 2.


In the Granada Television (ITV) series, Inspector Lestrade is a recurring character, portrayed by Colin Jeavons.

Rupert Graves plays Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade in the contemporary Sherlock. This version of Lestrade holds Holmes in high regard and is his friend.

Sean Pertwee plays Gareth Lestrade in the second season of Elementary.

He is alluded to in Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, with Akiko Morison voicing his distant descendant Beth Lestrade.

Sherlock Holmes Canon
Sherlock HolmesJohn WatsonMycroft HolmesProfessor MoriartyInspector LestradeIrene Adler
Secondary Characters
Mary WatsonMrs HudsonTobias GregsonAthelney JonesSebastian Moran
A Study in ScarletThe Sign of the FourThe Hound of the BaskervillesThe Valley of Fear
Short story collections
The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesThe Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last BowThe Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
Behind the scenes
Arthur Conan DoyleThe Strand MagazineSidney PagetChronology of Sherlock Holmes Cases