“A Study in Scarlet,” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“A Study in Scarlet,” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a fascinating detective mystery story that introduces Sherlock Holmes to the world.Cover Art for A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The story starts by introducing John H. Watson, an army doctor recently returned to London after a disastrous tour in India. Watson is happy to be in London again, but he soon finds that he needs better quarters. Unfortunately, his income is so low that he can not afford anything decent.

Through a friend Watson is introduced to Sherlock Holmes, who has found a comfortable apartment but needs someone to share the rent with. At first Watson is a little bit skeptical about Holmes, who seems to be a very eccentric individual indeed, but when Watson visits the apartment that Holmes wants to rent, he decides that he might as well try it out.

Soon Watson and Holmes have moved into their apartment on Baker Street. From the very start Watson finds himself wondering about Holmes. For one thing Holmes doesn’t seem to have any regular employment, and he has a very strange system of knowledge and study.

After a few failed attempts, Sherlock Holmes himself tells Watson of his career. He is a “consulting detective.” When the police and Scotland Yard are unable to solve a mystery or catch a criminal, they contact Holmes, who uses scientific principals to shed new light on the mystery or track down the culprit.

Soon enough Holmes has a chance to demonstrate his skill. When a murdered man is found in an empty building nearby the police are baffled. The murdered victim has no wound on his body, yet the room is marked with blood. In addition, none of the victims personal possessions were stolen, his money and various other valuables are untouched.

Sherlock Holmes agrees to take the case. When he arrives at the seen of the crime, however, the whole matter seems to get even more complicated, rather than clearing up. First a woman’s wedding ring is discovered on the floor beneath the dead body. Then the word “Rache” is discovered written on the wall with blood.

Sherlock Holmes’ investigation will uncover events that began decades ago in America. The crime is a deadly revenge plot that has taken decades to come to culmination. The daring and persistent perpetrator is a determined person though, and it will take careful panning on Holmes part to capture him.

“A Study in Scarlet” was first published in 1887. This classic story is a good introduction to Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, in this book Doyle shows Holmes in a slightly unflattering light, portraying him as proud and angry that he doesn’t get enough recognition for his skill. Other than that “A Study in Scarlet” is a great mystery story. The plot is realistic and reasonably unusual.

All mystery lovers should read the classic “A Study in Scarlet.”

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Inkweaver Review 2009-04-23T10:55:00-05:00

12 replies so far. What are your thoughts?

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

I believe this was the second or third Doyle story that I read, and certainly the first of his novels that I read. It's still one of my favorites and I revisit it often.

NathanKP said...

I think that it is one of his best, perhaps even better than "The Hound of the Baskervilles."

Thanks for commenting.

Heather J. said...

I don't think I've EVER read this particular story, and I'll have to remedy that for sure!

NathanKP said...

You definitely should, because it is in "A Study in Scarlet" that readers are first introduced to Sherlock Holmes and Watson makes his acquaintance with Holmes.

This is the first book, where the entire Sherlock Holmes experience begins.

Thanks for commenting.

Nathan

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