A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes introduction to the world)

This review was posted first on Book Lovers Inc: a cooperative blog with great reviews, interviews and lots of giveaways.

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It was in A Study in Scarlet that Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced to the world's most well known fictional detective - Sherlock Holmes. 

Not only do we get to meet Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, but we get to immerse ourselves in a murder mystery centred around a dead body found in an abandoned house, with the word 'Rache' scrawled in blood on the world and a female wedding ring next to the dead body. Who did it?

The story begins with Dr Watson's return to England after suffering an injury during the Afghanistan War. He finds himself with little do and very limited funds and needing accommodation. Through a chance encounter with an old friend, he is introduced to Mr Sherlock Holmes who has found the perfect rooms, but needs someone to live in them with him. The two move in together, and find themselves to be well suited as housemates.

It over breakfast one morning that Sherlock Holmes discloses to Dr Watson his profession as a private consulting detective, based on his excellent deductive powers. Dr Watson is of course a sceptic of Sherlock Holmes' skills and so when Holmes is asked to play a role in solving the mysterious murder in the abandoned house, he asks Dr Watson to be of assistance.

The book is split into two halves. 

The first half is narrated by Dr Watson himself and is an account of his meeting with Sherlock Holmes and their subsequent investigation of the murder. Dr Watson is a good and honest narrator. The great thing about watching the story unfold from Dr Watson's perspective is that it allows the reader to see the clues unfold and attempt to solve the murder alongside Mr Holmes.

The second half of the book is the back story to how the murderer came to commit these horrific acts. The change from the first to the second half of the book is very sudden, and I have to admit that at first I didn't realise what was happening. I actually thought that perhaps Arthur Conan Doyle was playing a cruel trick on me and after revealing who the murdered was, wasn't going to explain how Holmes figured it out. It was therefore a relief when I began to identify how the second half of the book related to the first and was able to start piecing the puzzle together myself.

I had read a lot of the Sherlock Holmes short stories as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles and so it was nice to see how Holmes and Watson began their friendship. Holmes has his weaknesses, which Dr Watson is very cognisant of, but the two men are able to form a solid friendship despite their differences.

I loved the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and I can't wait to get stuck into more of them.


What kind of read is this?
The ultimate in murder mystery.

Do I recommend this book?
Yes, I recommend all of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries without hesitation.

Do I recommend that you buy this book?
No, borrowing it would be fine unless you a big Sherlock Holmes fan.

Star Rating

6 / 8

Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it.

Have you read any of the Sherlock Holmes novels? Do you have a favourite?

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