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A Study In Scarlet

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Arthur Conan Doyle

Grade 7-12-In the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Dr. Watson, discharged from military service after suffering wounds, is at loose ends until a chance encounter leads him to take rooms with Sherlock Holmes. When Watson is drawn into the investigation … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: House of Stratus
1 review about A Study In Scarlet

A Staggering Introduction To A Legend

  • Sep 3, 2009
The first Holmes mystery is one I will always cherish as it was rightfully my first introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes. I have always been familiar with the name of the character but have only really become interested in reading the stories thanks to the rather shallow link between Holmes and the character Dr. Gregory House from the TV show House M.D. I know it is a ridiculous way to decide to take up the task of reading the Holmes stories, but after reading this it is a task I am glad to engage in. The similarities between the character from the TV show and the character from the books are plenty but I am writing this review for the book which has created a Holmes-like addiction within me to read more of the Sherlock mysteries.

Set at around 1880 and this book first being published in 1878 is told in two parts, the bulk of the story being told from the perspective of Dr. Watson. The first part comprises of the first person tale of how Watson came to meet Holmes and how they both came to live with each other at 221B Baker Street. The introduction to how this friendship began is brief as Doyle plunges immediately into the first Holmes case which is an investigation into the murder of Enoch J. Drebber of Cleveland, Ohio. When his body is found in n abandoned house with no visible wounds that could have caused his death, the real mystery begins with the discovery of a gruesome scrawling on a dark section of wall in the form of RACHE which was painted in blood. Soon after the discovery of Drebber, it becomes known that his travelling partner, Joseph Stangerson has also been murdered.

The second part is set in America and as it progresses gradually gives light to motives for the murders and the relationship the murderer has with his victims. It tells the story initially of John Ferrier being lost in the middle of a desert as him and a small girl are the only survivors of a twenty-one person caravan which ran out of food and water. On the verge of death they are rescued by Brigham Young and a large wagon convoy of travelling Mormons looking to escape persecution. As the years pass, Ferrier becomes a successful rancher and the little girl, Lucy grows up to be a beautiful woman who is sought after to become one of the wives of a prospective Mormon husband. Ferrier refuses to allow Lucy to be married to anyone with more than one wife, but due to the described Mormon custom, Ferrier is given an ultimatum that he must choose a suitable husband for Lucy within 29 days or face death.

Being Doyle's first entry into story telling he did a superb job of creating a realistic and intriguing character along with an intense and thought provoking story. The supporting characters are beautifully thought out for whatever length of time and importance they may hold in the whole story. Watson is not portrayed as what you would imagine to be a puppy dog following the master, rather an inquisitor looking to understand the mind of one of the most complex figures he has ever come across. Holmes is a significant character in literature as he is a character that transcends the original novels or the era in which he was born. The name is instantly recognisable and this original story was an instant achievement in bringing to life such a legacy that will undoubtedly last forever.

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