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A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)
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A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  122,567 ratings  ·  3,943 reviews
The first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was also the first of Conan Doyle's books to be published. In this fascinating and exciting tale, the two towering creations of detective fiction–Holmes, the master of the science of detection, and Watson, his faithful companion–make their auspicious debut. The two detectives are immediately in fine form as Holmes plucks the s...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press (first published 1887)
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  • Sherlock Holmes in a Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
    Sherlock Holmes in a Study in Scarlet
    A Study in Scarlet, the captivating mystery from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, introduces two of literature's most famous characters: Sherlock Holmes and Jo…more
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    The birth of a legend....

    This is it...the novel in which Sir Arthur ushered the world’s greatest second best detective (after Batman) into our collective consciousness. Being the non-conformist rebel that I am, I started off bassackwards by reading The Valley of Fear and then The Adventure of the Final Problem because those were the two stories with Moriarty in them. Shocking, I know, but that’s just how I roll. Btw, it still really chaffs my cheeks that Doyle wrote 56 short stories and 4 nove...more
    Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel is utterly unimpressive. In short, the book starts like this:

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    and mid-way turns into this:

    And I am not even joking. The novel begins with Holmes and Watson meeting, moving into their Baker Street apartment and then investigating a murder of a man found in an abandoned house. At the half point, however, the story completely changes its course and becomes the most awkward introduction of the murderer's back story and motives involving Mo...more
    Nilesh Kashyap
    An anti-review
    I don’t read reviews of books, of which I am damn sure I will be reading it very soon. Now, I don’t know how this habit affects my reading.

    So, what happened was..
    I was not aware of the fact that “I had to be surprised when the second part of the book starts and wonder what happened to the story with Sherlock Holmes in it and how that mystery was solved! Moreover, I had to wonder whether the second part was from some other book, somehow got binded in my copy and curse the publish...more
    K.D. Absolutely
    Dec 28, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to K.D. by: Kristel
    Shelves: 501, detective, british
    Not related to the book yet

    This is the book that completes my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge! 275 books and I still have 3 days to spare. My first target was 200 because that was the the annual target of the author Nicholas Sparks as he said in one of his interviews. But I achieved it in September so I changed it to 250. But I achieved 250 on the last week of October and I thought I could still read 25 more. So, here I am, proud that I was able to read 275 books!!! Last year, I only read 196 b...more
    Mormons and murder, aaaiiieeeee!
    For those who prefer their Sherlock Holmes served up pure and without digression (and I am one), it is possible to skip over the long omniscient passage entitled "The Country of the Saints" without losing "the scarlet thread of murder." Indeed, rare is the reader who can resist the temptation to leapfrog the Great Alkali Plain and learn the fate of the person responsible for the singlular expression of horror and hatred on the dead man’s face at No. 3 Lauriston Ga
    Shayantani Das
    Rating: 4 stars

    This is my first Sherlock Holmes novel and yes, I am ashamed for not having read it earlier. I suppose that, what LOTR trilogy is to the fantasy world, Sherlock Holmes is to the detective/crime genre. Reading it is kind of like getting a degree. So anyway friends, I have graduated and am finally an official member of the crime/mystery fandom.

    And I am most definitely a part of the bandwagon of Sherlock Homes fans.

    Okay, off to the plot them:

    “A Study in Scarlet” introduces the famo...more
    Sherlock Holmes is a dick. And I don’t mean that as a reference to the character being a private detective.

    Sure, he may be brilliant, but he’s also arrogant, condescending, cold, rude, self-absorbed and generally an insufferable douche bag. If Watson wasn’t such a brown-noser, he’d have snapped and pimp slapped the shit out of Holmes about five minutes after meeting him.

    It’d been a long time since I’d read any of the stories, and I thought I’d check some out after watching Robert Downey Jr. pl...more
    Detectives have artists' eyes; and artists have the eyes of detectives. I don't think anyone knows how much I want to be Sherlock Holmes. Aloof, apart, always observing, eyes wide open, untethered to worldly affairs beyond what immediacy makes necessity, quick-tongued, lightning-brained, spiffy dresser, grounded eccentric, sometimes passionate but never so much that the self is jeopardized, knows his enemies and masters them, instincts taut and fast and brutal like a bear trap, mysterious solver...more
    In A Study in Scarlet (1888), Arthur Conan Doyle introduces his master sleuth to the world, warts and all. Aside from his well-known arrogance and tactlessness, Holmes' other flaws – as well as his odd but impressive knowledge – are cataloged by his astonished new roommate, Dr. Watson:
    1. Knowledge of Literature. — Nil.
    2. Knowledge of Philosophy. — Nil.
    3. Knowledge of Astronomy. — Nil.
    4. Knowledge of Politics. — Feeble.
    5. Knowledge of Botany. — Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium and poisons g
    This is the first of Sherlock Holmes, it is very cool and I enjoyed it. The very interesting part of the book is that it is Doyle's first try at historical fiction. In the introduction it talked about how he was not very accurate with his history but remember it is fiction. I find it interesting because I am a member of The Church of Jesus Crist of Later-Day Saints also known as "the Mormons".
    In this book the two people that are murdered are Mormons and the Murderer is not Mormon but lived amon...more
    I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

    With these words the young Dr. John Watson describes his new home after returning broken by injury and illness from the Empire's colonial wars in Afghanistan. Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL (1859 – 1930), wrote A Study in Scarlet in 1887, the first in the long series of reports by Watson of Sherlock Holmes' masterful and unique investigations. In this book...more
    Dec 30, 2009 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: lovers of classic detective fiction.
    Recommended to Mike by: My uncle Woodrow, now 93, who also recommended Edgar Rice Burrou
    After reading A.O. Scott's review of Sherlock Holmes, I was ready to be a bit disappointed by the movie. Too much action appealing to adolescent boys, I believe Scott said. There also appears to be a brouhaha among Holmesian purists disappointed in the latest film. I watched the movie, enjoyed it (and I am far past adolescence)and turned to Doyle's first Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet. While I admit I first read this tale as an adolescent, I have re-read it in my 30s and now (shudder) my 50s....more
    Oct 09, 2013 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Mystery Aficionados
    Recommended to Amanda by: Ruth Provost
    Simply okay. I really enjoyed the first part in which Holmes solves the murder, but had to literally drag myself through the second part which goes all the way back to America and the Mormons to explain the murderer's motive. And that second part? Yeah, it takes forrrr-ehhhh-ver. Parts of it read like a textbook analysis of the Mormon faith. You can tell Doyle did his homework (and I kinda wish he hadn't done so quite so thoroughly--there's even a freaking footnote). The second half felt disjoin...more
    Yes, it had everything to do with this man:

    But, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's defense, the writing was engaging, the stories were captivating and now I'm on a mission to read his entire work.

    I really felt for Lucy and her tragic story... If the first half of the book was pretty cool, the second half was genius.

    _A Study in Scarlet_ is an interesting book for several reasons. Here we have the first written adventure of Sherlock Holmes and get both the first introduction to the famous sleuth and his comrade Dr. Watson, as well as details of their first meeting. We are treated to a somewhat humorous précis of Watson’s first impressions of his strange room-mate (detailed in several other reviews) and even manage to see a fledgling Holmes occasionally wrong, or at least not 100% accurate, in some of his ini...more
    Along with Captain Kirk and the Doctor, my fandom of Sherlock Holmes began in my middle school years. I was aware of the immortal detective but had never really read any of the original source material featuring Holmes until one day in reading lab, I picked up a newly arrived copy of "The Hound of the Baskervilles." I consumed the book in a couple of days and was soon ready to move on to more.

    My parents indulged my new interest in Holmes, purchasing a paperback copy of "The Adventures of Sherloc...more
    A Study in Scarlet by Sherlock Holmes was another enthralling and suspenseful mystery. Doyle wins again with his ever lovable Holmes and Watson duo. This was his first Holmes story, and I loved that it was a novel and not a short story. To me, there was much more depth and description to the characters that really added to the novel. I'm in the progress of creating a list of reasons that these books are classics, but I don't know yet, if it's just the Holmes stories that I consider classics, or...more
    Who knew that Mormons make the perfect gothic villians? And so long ago! You didn't even have Big Love for inspiration. Bravo, well done you! And any simplicity of plot is totally forgiven for lines like "the scarlet skein of murder runs through the plot of life." You delicious mind, you.

    Also, this definitely could have been subtitled The Seduction of Doctor Watson. You can see how Holmes and Watson grow from strangers (where Watson's kind of iffy about sharing rooms with a crazy man) to friends...more
    Jonathan Janz
    You know why this book is considered a classic? Because it's really, really good.

    If you've read it, you'll know what I'm about to allude to; if not, be forewarned about one thing...

    At about the sixty-percent point of the novel, it feels like a completely new book begins. I consider myself a fairly skillful reader, but even I began flipping through the pages of my Nook, sure I'd purchased an omnibus of Holmes stories rather than the single novel I thought I'd bought.

    It wasn't that the second st...more
    I really, really enjoy mystery and detective novels. So when I told a friend about this, she asked "and have you ever read the Sherlock Holmes series?" I said "no", yet I knew what my next mission was: to read them.

    So, I started the book, and unlike most 19th century novels, this book was entertaining from the first page onwards. It was extremely well written, its language being precise and sort of scientifical (like Sherlock Holmes himself) but also with an entertaining and, if I may say so, go...more
    Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
    Actual rating: 4.5 stars

    August 12th, 2012: Review coming soon. :)

    ... Well, now it's December 18th, so HAHA I LIED. Gosh, I don't think my review situation has ever been this out of hand. I remember the days when I used to just read things and review them the next day or whatever. Good times, good times.

    Okay, so I'm going to try to go on a review spree now, which means my next few reviews will probably be pretty short and not too detailed––partly because I have so many to do, and also because at...more
    Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

    Part I

    The Storyline
    This being the first story in the Sherlock Holmes series, this is also the introduction of the two main characters: Holmes and Watson. After meeting one another they agree to move in together as they were both in need of a roommate. Shortly after, a man is discovered as being murdered and Sherlock Holmes is asked to evaluate the scene to determine if there is any evidence of who may have done it. The only clue is a woman’s weddin...more

    An interesting introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes which introduces Holmes and, to a lesser extent, Watson and the solving of two grizzly murders in Victorian London. I’ve wanted to read some of these since watching the BBC tv series Sherlock (which is well worth your time if you’ve not seen them) and can say that it was a nice introduction but I didn’t feel that the overall outcome was a great one mainly due to the second part which was set in another country with different charact...more
    Odio ufficialmente dare un voto ai libri che leggo.
    Uno studio in rosso è decisamente più godibile de "Il mastino dei Baskerville", ma non riesco a dare loro un voto differente senza pensare che uno dei due ne risulti sacrificato.
    Ho apprezzato maggiormente questo episodio per due motivi. In primo luogo, è l'inizio delle indagini firmate Holmes&Watson. I due uomini si conoscono, è qui che nasce il mito di Baker Street. Insieme a Watson il lettore si avvicina gradualmente a quel pazzo di Sher...more
    A quick, entertaining read. Sherlock and Watson's interaction was the best aspect of the story, they had a great back and forth. The mystery was pretty good, I was cheering on the murderer, he was right to kill those two creepy fucks after everything they did. I could have done without all the mormon/American backstory — it made for boring reading. I'm looking forward to reading other Sherlock stories.

    Do you know the obsession you have when you see something then insanely fall in love with it? Well, that’s what happened with me when I saw the Sherlock BBC series. I was stunned with the modern version of it and loved it really much!! Now what would you do when you find that there is a book edition for Sherlock with BBC covers :D Yup I did it and bought five of them so far :D

    I’ll be lying if I said my judgment is not biased, my first stories and novels that I read at school was for Sir Arthur C...more
    I really enjoyed this story, and now begin to wonder why I've never read any of these Sherlock Holmes stories before. (I did like to read the Slylock Fox mystery cartoon in the Sunday paper as a kid, but that hardly counts. :P)

    This is the very first of all of the SH stories, and it introduces us to Holmes, Watson, and the methodology of Holmes's practice and brilliance. I loved Holmes's witty, dry humor, and his quirkiness and genius. I also loved Watson's more socially accepted gentleman role....more
    I found this book in a second-hand bookshop and as always with Conan Doyle, it transported me to a whole different world. This is the first Sherlock Holmes' novel and it mixes the crime genre with the travelling-to-uncommon-places narration that I am fond of in Conan Doyle. I particularly liked the first encounter with Sherlock Holmes, the description made by Dr. Watson of his new peculiar "flatmate" and the discussion they have about the brain-attics. Sherlock Holmes explains to Dr. Watson that...more
    Kathy Hiester
    Since I found out that A Study in Scarlet has been banned for being derogatory towards Mormon’s I decided to read and review the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic. It is my belief that books should not be banned due to the fact that they could be considered derogatory; actually, it is my belief that books should never be banned. I understand a need for age appropriate reading material but it is my belief that it is a parent’s choice to what their child can read and understand and it is a person’s r...more
    Jun 02, 2008 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Mystery fans
    While Edgar Allan Poe created the mystery genre, it was Doyle who really popularized it. His Holmes is a cross between Poe's Dupin and his own medical school professor, Dr. Joseph Bell, a genius at forensic deduction who sometimes assisted the police, and like Poe he gives his detective a far less keen foil whom the deductions can be explained to; but he brings Holmes and Watson to much more vivid life as characters than Poe ever did in his detective stories (and of course, wrote a much larger c...more
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    Arthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

    Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record...more
    More about Arthur Conan Doyle...
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    “I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.” 429 likes
    “What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.” 427 likes
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