A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Original Title: A Study in Scarlet

Year Published: 2001 (first published 1887)

Published by:  Penguin Classics

Number of Pages: 108

First Sentence: In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

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.

My thoughts:

After falling in love with Sherlock Holmes thanks to the tv series Sherlock (as many others have) I wanted to read the actual books. Yes, I was well aware that the books would be much different from the series, but I was curious anyway. I really did like this book and will make my way through the others in the future.

If you have seen the first episode of Sherlock you will be familiar with the murder in this. But only the murder, everything else is much changed. Which actually made the story much more interesting than if the tv series had just modernized the story. I could not have predicted who the murderer was and found myself slightly surprised at the end. The plot is perfectly balanced and you move along at a perfect pace.

The story is told by John Watson. He is an excellent narrator, very detailed and just like in other adaptions he is in a way smitten with Sherlock. He often showers the man with praise for his intellect and often finds himself amazed by Sherlock’s deductions. He is the one to keep Sherlock grounded and the one to smooth things over when Sherlock has said something offensive.

Sherlock is even here a special snowflake. He is extremely clever but extremely bad in social situations. He often looks down on the people around him for being of average intellect and not being able to see what he sees. But he does have some great characteristics and does show some understanding for human nature.

There is however, a very lengthy and quite boring chapter somewhere in the middle that made no sense until the murder was revealed. It is a chapter that feels super random and even after getting a reason for it, it just feels unnecessary. It is a flashback of sorts, and instead of being told in such a lengthy way it would have been better if told through a dialogue between perhaps Sherlock and the murderer. Now it just felt extremely misplaced.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

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