March 3, 2013

Review #12: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



Now any good Sherlock fan has his/her favorite Sherlock/Watson combo.  From John Barrymore and Roland Young in 1922 to the latest pairing of Jonny Lee Miller and a female Watson played by Lucy Liu, there is definitely competition.  Sherlock Holmes is so beloved a character that we even have two TV shows and a movie franchise currently. 






Mine happens to be the BBC's Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  While Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are both hot and entertaining, the BBC show's vivid and intriguing portrayal is the one that made me want to read ACD's stories.  

Yes, that's right.  I'd never read a Sherlock Holmes story!  GASP!  

I had tried once before but couldn't get into it.  This time when I began it, I pictured Cumberbatch and Freeman as Shelock and Watson and that made me feel like I was reading a transcript of the show just as much as I was reading the book itself.  It made it that much more enjoyable.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Now, The Study of Scarlet is the first case after Sherlock and Watson meet after becoming roommates.  All of Sherlock's peculiarities and his genius are just being discovered by Watson and the reader gets to experience this through Watson's eyes, since he is the narrator.  The case is about a murder victim who is found with no mark on the body but there is blood on the floor.  There is also the word "RACHE" written on the wall, as well as a few other puzzling clues, like a woman's wedding ring.  



The beauty of the story is Watson and the two police detectives, Lestrate and Gregson, discovering Sherlock's methods of deduction, which, as they learn, of course, are far superior to anything they have ever seen before.  When the murderer is found and apprehended, you would think this would be the end of the story, but it is only the end of Part I.

Part II of the novel has the killer telling Holmes and Watson the back story of how he came to murder.  It also neatly wraps up what happens to the killer, as well as how Watson came to tell us the story of this case and Sherlock's detective expertise.

I really enjoyed reading this story and I am so glad that I downloaded The Complete Sherlock Holmes from Amazon (the page for my version no longer seems to be there).  Not to mention I also downloaded The Illustrated Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Still there, and FREE!), which I also want to try out.  I will definitely be reading a lot more Sherlock Holmes in the future!


Qualifying Challenges:








14 comments:

  1. I've also been working my way through the Complete Sherlock Holmes, for some reason, have on both Kindle and Nook and also in print. Reminds me that I need to get back to them. I'm into Vol. 2 (on the Nook) now and need to get back there soon. Thanks for reminding me.

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    1. Very cool, Bryan! I am curious to know which story has been your favorite.

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  2. I've read the short stories for Sherlock Holmes but I don't think I've read this novel. I really want to now! I was inspired to pick up the stories after seeing the RDJ and Law film but I've liked most of the versions I've seen including Cumberbatch/Freeman and Miller/Liu.

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    1. Yea, it is really hard NOT to like a Sherlock Holmes story I am thinking. ;)

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  3. Great review, Becca! I love BBC's Sherlock. LOVE. I think I've watched A Study in Pink at least a dozen times. That series is the reason why I started reading Sherlock Holmes, too. So far I've read Scandal in Bohemia, The Final Problem (both absolutely great), and The Empty Room.

    I've also watched a few of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock episodes and they're pretty fun.

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    1. Thanks! :) I haven't watched the Basil Rathbone ones. I am going to see if I can find them now.

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  4. I have a lot of the Sherlock Holmes stories on my Kindle, but I haven't read any of them yet. I have to be in a specific mood to read them. haha. I'll probably try them out again soon!

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    1. I understand that! There are things I have to be in the mood to read, too. :)

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  5. Great that you like it! I think I also began with watching the movies and only then turned to books) I'm now finishing The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from my Complete edition) Good luck with yours!

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    1. Awesome! I am excited to read more. I hope you've been enjoying the read!

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  6. I too have never read a Sherlock book, no wait I started the hounds of baskervilles but couldn't get into it.

    But I love the shows and movies. Go figure :)

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    1. I think the shows and movies have made me love the books. :)

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  7. I didn't read too much of this, especially once you started talking about the story, cause I just started this last night. I'm in a reading rut, have 5 books going right now, and while they are all good, I can't seem to get into anything. So I thought, why not Sherlock Holmes.

    I must say I love the chemistry between Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock and Watson.

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    1. The best part of the story is not even the plot of the murder, but just Sherlock being Sherlock, in my opinion! lol I hope that this takes you out of your rut, Ryan!

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