A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the debut of
literature's most famous sleuth, a dead man is discovered in a
bloodstained room in Brixton. The only clues are a wedding ring, a gold
watch, a pocket edition of Boccaccio's Decameron, and a word scrawled in
blood on the wall. With this investigation begins the partnership of
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Their search for the murderer uncovers a
story of love and revenge-and heralds a franchise of detective
mysteries starring the formidable Holmes.
This is my second time reading this book. I started reading Sherlock Holmes over a decade ago and I was completely smitten. I got hooked by the characters, the storylines, the incredible detail and the author's voice. And since watching the BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, I've been wanting go back and explore the literary works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once again.
A Study in Scarlet is the first of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works and introduces us to the main characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Watson, returning to London after his time away at war and nursing a wounded leg, he finds lodgings with a man going by the name of Sherlock Holmes. As he learns about his new roommate, he discovers that Mr. Holmes is a consulting detective, the one and only of his kind. He finds the man is a complex study of humankind. He was as ignorant as he was brilliant. Knowledgeable of numerous subjects as well as knowing very little about others. And yet, he can clearly see the smallest detail in a scene that many others overlook. This ability is displayed when Scotland Yard consults Sherlock on a case that has them stumped. Dr. Watson comes along and witnesses the extraordinary ability of Sherlock as he is put to the test to identify the curious murder of a man.
I won't go into details of the investigation since I know I'll unwillingly include spoilers and this is a story that is best read without knowing what happens at the end. Well, other than the fact that Sherlock solves the mystery. But the journey to that discovery is an entertaining one.
Although I enjoyed reading this book immensely to re-discover the origins of two of my favorite characters, I must admit the section concerning Utah and Mr. John Ferrier and his daughter, Lucy, was a bit dull at first. Not until close to the end of that section when the action increased. I muddled through because I knew it would get better. For some reason, I didn't remember that part from the first time I read this book.
Other than that, the writing was interesting, full of details and gorgeous Victorian language. The mystery was puzzling and it was a joy to read how Watson portrayed Holmes. I would recommend this book to any mystery fan.
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