Monday, October 15, 2012
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Mystery, classic
Published: 1887, originally
Source: Personal copy
Read for: R.I.P. VII, A Classics Challenge, The Classics Club
A Study in Scarlet introduces us to Sherlock Holmes, the quirky, deducing amateur detective who can assimilate any evidence into an excellent solution. In this book he meets Dr. Watson, who like him is looking for someone to share accommodations, and drags him along to solve the mystery of a man found dead, surrounded by blood (including the German word for "Revenge" written on the wall in blood) and yet not wounded himself.
I was very excited at the beginning of A Study in Scarlet. In the past I have only read short stories about Sherlock Holmes, and I loved the increased level of detail and depth in the story. I also loved getting to see more of the background behind Sherlock and Watson's relationship. Watson's first impressions of Sherlock were priceless, as were the details of Watson getting used to living with someone of Sherlock's odd and enigmatic personality.
Things became a little odd when the story reverted to the background behind the crime, otherwise known as the "Mormon" section. Reading the book as if it were just a fiction, it was interesting enough, but it was difficult for me to ignore the glaring errors and generalizations made about my religion. The story in and of itself was enjoyable, but do bear in mind that the story is meant to be thrilling, and that great liberties are taken with the historical facts. I'm not going to go through the whole book and point out all the untrue details because this is a book review, but if you have questions feel free to email me (my contact info is on the About Me page).
Other than the irritation there, the characters were delightful and the story held my interest. It is a short novella, easily read in a few hours, but it held more depth than the shorter Sherlock stories I have enjoyed in the past. It was exciting to be introduced to Sherlock and Watson and get background on their relationship. It definitely has me ready to read more of the longer Sherlock Holmes stories.