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A Study in Emerald (Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things)

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,751 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Alluding to both the Sherlock Holmes canon and the Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos, this Hugo Award-winning short story will delight fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft, and of course, Neil Gaiman.

A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble
Audiobook, 1 page
Published December 3rd 2007 by Harper Audio (first published October 2003)
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"A Study in Emerald" is a cool short story written by Neil Gaiman, one of today's masters of weird fiction, and can be found for free here. If you have half an hour of your time left to be spent with one of Gaiman's best short stories, then you should right now click on this link instead of reading my thoughts about it disguising themselves as a review.

As the title already implies, the entire story alludes to Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, but only upon c
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

My immediate reaction upon finishing this shorty . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

When a German noble goes missing, it’s up to everyone’s favorite sleuth Sherlock Holmes Who to solve the case . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Left with a clue written in the victim’s blood . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

No, wait. That’s not right. Oh yeah, it was Rache. The consulting detective and our narrator discover there might be more to this mystery than meets the eye . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

And I didn’t get it. Why did everyone love this?
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
My relationship with Neil Gaiman is still extremely complicated, but hey, I finally read something of his that I'm giving 5 stars! Although it's a very qualified 5 stars.

"A Study in Emerald" won the Hugo Award for short stories in 2004. It's a brilliant mash-up of the Sherlock Holmes universe and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. If you're quite familiar with both of those things, you'll probably love this story.

If you're not terribly familiar with either of those things, you are welcome to try
mark monday
A Study in Emerald Study Guide

>What is A Study in Emerald?
1) A pastiche
2) A parody
3) A trifle
4) A tisket
5) A tasket
6) A green and yellow basket

>What is "A Study in Emerald"?
1) A reference to a classic Sherlock Holmes story
2) A disgusting green mess of bile that is sprayed all over the place after a disgusting un-man has been slain

>Who is the protagonist of A Study in Emerald?
1) Sherlock Holmes
2) Professor James Moriarty
3) Cthulhu
4) Queen Victoria
5) Neil Gaiman

>Why did A Study in Emer
Feb 05, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
Elementary, my dear Cthulhu.

Neil Gaiman’s 2003 short story A Study in Emerald won the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Story.

Because it is a really good story.

Is it Sherlock Holmes? Is it Lovecraft? Is it both? I also had to remind myself that this was Gaiman and not China Mieville.

Set in an alternate England in an alternative history, this smart short work pays homage to Doyle and Lovecraft and is tied together by the inimitable Neil Gaiman,

so it has that going for it.

Entertaining and fun, this also l
If there's one thing Neil Gaiman has taught me, it's that one can be original with other people's ideas as well. So let's talk about A Study in Emerald, a fantastic amalgamation of Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos; an amalgamation of the stoic, dry writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the wild, beautiful prose of H. P. Lovecraft. If anyone can find any semblance of balance between the two and manage to execute it, it is Gaiman.

In the alternate Victorian (they take Victoria very ser
Sep 04, 2015 Apatt rated it liked it
Neil Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes pastiche and Cthulhu mythos mashup is certainly weird, but I am not so sure about wonderful. It is available as a free PDF download so there is no reason not to give it a shot. The PDF file is cleverly formatted to look like a Victorian newspaper with amusing ads placed by Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and other Victorian SF characters. Gaiman is doing a sort of literary sleight of hand here, leading the reader up the garden path. Set in an alternate Victorian Eng ...more
Wayne Barrett

I admire the creative exploits of Neil Gaiman. His ability to bring something different.

This was a short, Sherlock Holmesish fantasy-mystery formatted in antiquated newsprint fashion, including witty illustrations placed throughout the piece. I wouldn't call the story great, but it was still classic Gaiman, nicely presented and thoroughly entertaining.
Emer (ALittleHaze)
Jun 26, 2016 Emer (ALittleHaze) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emer (ALittleHaze) by: Councillor
Well that was a delightful little foray into the mind of Neil Gaiman and the worlds of Conan Doyles's Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft's "the Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos".

Having never read any Sherlock Holmes or indeed anything of H.P. Lovecraft's I can't truly attest to the originality and twists contained in this short story. My familiarity with Mr Holmes doesn't extend beyond the (incredible) BBC series Sherlock.

But what I can say is I liked this a lot!!! It was fun, filled with tricke

This short story can be read here in a rather unique and interesting 'periodical' form.

What is A Study in Emerald? It is a mixture of two different worlds (view spoiler) Clearly from the title one can see that it is a reference to the notable classic A Study in Scarlet. In fact the very first page or so seems to almost copy that Sherlock tale word-for-word. Which leads me to question plagiarism in connection to stories li
Kat  Hooper
Jun 16, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

A Study in Emerald is a Hugo and Locus Award winning short story by Neil Gaiman in which he pays tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

At first Gaiman’s story appears to be a straight Sherlock Holmes pastiche as a man who appears to be Watson relates how his new friend, a consulting detective who appears to be Holmes, is being asked by Inspector Lestrade to help solve a murder mystery. In fact, it compl
Anthony Chavez
Jun 21, 2012 Anthony Chavez rated it really liked it
"A Study in Emerald" is a blend of the world of Sherlock Holmes with that of H.P. Lovecraft, and the writing style is a homage to both Lovecraft and Doyle. For being a Sherlock Holmes story, the name Sherlock Holmes never appears in the prose. While Gaiman does not seem to have the consistent mastery of the short story that he does of comic and novel format, when he gets it right, he gets it very right. The tale is impossible to predict from start to finish. It is, as Gaiman explains in the intr ...more
I adore Neil Gaiman’s writing, I love the Sherlock Holmes canon and I have a soft spot for witty references. Imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this short story.

Set in an alternate Victorian London where the reigning monarchs are unearthly creatures who defeated humanity 700 years ago, it borrows heavily from A Study in Scarlet, yet still remains original by throwing in a great deal of hints and a twist along the way before culminating in an unexpected ending. I was unfamiliar with “The
Apr 13, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
See... I always said that I should read Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. My age and mindset won't matter. Anyone, just anyone, can have a connection with Sherlock and his precocious skills.


Mind it, if I hadn't read A Study in Scarlet, I wouldn't be able to enjoy this witty, cleaver than ever and it-hurts-you-because-you-are-obsessed-with-sherlock kind of story.

Hey, Gaiman, was that reference to Charing Cross Road in the story just a gimmick to rattle the fans of 84 Charing Cross Road? Damn you SOB! Yo
Jan 09, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Neil Gaiman/Sherlock Holmes/Cthulu fans
This the perfect short story for anyone into Neil Gaiman, Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulu mythos, and it can be read, for free, as a beautiful mock newspaper pdf file on Neil Gaiman's website. It is no surprise to me this won the Hugo award. As soon as I finished reading it, I downloaded the audio book on Audible so I can experience it again, as read by Neil Gaiman himself.
9 page short story, involving Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu mythos and it's absolutely great.
Only Gaiman could have written such thing.
Jul 25, 2016 Melora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, shorts
3 1/2 stars, but I didn't love it enough to round up to 4. I read the free PDF download, and the Victorian newspaper layout, with its illustrated advertisements for potions, powders, and services, all, I think, related to Victorian literary monsters, added substantially to the mood. The story itself is similar to Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet," with references also to other Holmes stories, but with a couple rather substantial twists. Given that the story is "advertised" as a Holmes-Lovecraft mash- ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this story to read for free online on Neil Gaiman's website. This was a pretty good Sherlock Holmes Mystery/H.P. Lovecraft Mash-up. Sherlock Holmes and a Watson-like character are sent on a mystery to see who murdered a royal in a study in Emerald in an alternate Victorian London. I enjoyed checking this out and you can check out the story here. Enjoy!
May 15, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing
I've said it before, and I'm sure to say it again. I love crossovers. A crossover between Holmes and Cthulhu is ever so sweet.
Dec 30, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jos jedna zabavna knjizica od Gajmena. Prosto pozelis da napise citav roman a ne samo ovakvu kratku formu.

Ali najace u celom delu su mi bili oglasi (narocito za Dr Dzekila).

Dec 13, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Holmesian resisters of our elritch overlords
This short story is an alternate history mashup piece of Sherlock Holmes/HP Lovecraft fan fiction. All the familiar faces - Lestrade, Holmes (kind of) and his loyal doctor sidekick - are present as they are brought in to solve the case of a murdered member of the royal family, with the only clue being the word "Rache" written in green ichor at the murder scene.

Green ichor, because the royal family isn't human and this is an alternate history in which eldritch things arrived centuries ago to best
Neil Gaiman shows off his writing in his short story A Study in Emerald. A pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, its deft writing and clever ending will appeal to fans of Gaiman and of Holmes. Though I do not have much knowledge about the mystery genre, I enjoyed reading and discussing A Study in Emerald - I look forward to reading one of Neil Gaiman's novels even more now.
Jun 30, 2016 Marija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never read anything by Neil Gaiman before. Maybe this wasn't a great place to start, or maybe it's better when you re-read it. Even though I rated this short story with three stars I still have a feeling that I'd like Neil as an author.
Apr 27, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I got this tiny audiobook (only 48 minutes) and listened to it in it's entirety on my drive home from work. I really love when Neil does his own voice work.

This is a short story based on Sherlock Holmes mysteries. We have unnamed characters, one having been tortured in the war in Afghanistan against the "gods and men", and one being a consulting detective for the police. Rooming together, the veteran notices odd comings and goings from the detective but never inquires about any of it, instead qu
Dec 10, 2015 Phoenix rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Gaiman. Sherlock Holms. Old Ones.

*fandom seizure*

I have to do research. And then read some things. And then come back and do this one again. And then probably several more times. omg. *bounces in chair*

~UPDATE, mid-research
I want moarrr. Why isn't there more? There needs to be more.
Jan 08, 2015 Lea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this Sherlock Holmes/ Lovecraft mashup! (You can find it on the author's website by doing an internet search for it by title.) The edition I read was crafted as a newspaper article, complete with ads -- part of the fun is in figuring out the literary characters who placed those ads. Great fun!
Jan 23, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a new reader/viewer/listener of Sherlock Holmes stories, I am completely intrigued by the concept of reinterpretations of those stories. Reading this engaged me with the familiarity of "A Study in Scarlet," the addition of mythical gore, and the mystery of narrator.

It's a quick & entertaining read, and I loved to newspaper-style of the PDF version found online. Not only did the newspaper-style pull me into the setting, but entertained me with the advertisements calling on the character
Amy Sturgis
This is my very favorite short story for good reason. With references to a number of classic Gothic texts (including Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, among others), Gaiman revisits Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (his "A Study in Scarlet," in particular) relocating it to the dark world of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. This is a haunting and poignant delight for any lover of Lovecraft, Conan Doyle, Victoriana, and/or the Gothic. The final, elegant twists are the ...more
May 07, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Eu aprendi a ditar ritmo de cenas com Doyle, e Lovecraft me impactou tanto na literatura que eu tenho um conto (A herança do Professor Duncan) publicado em homenagem a ele. 5 estrelas é pouco, eu acho que merece muito mais. Parabéns, Neil Gaiman.

Comentário sobre o conto no meu review do livro Coisas Frágeis:
Um estudo em esmeralda é uma história divertida, fiel à estrutura narrativa e ritmo que consagraram Sherlock Holmes no mundo da ficção policial. O esmeralda do título remete à criação de Love
“I am selfish, private and easily bored. Will this be a problem?”

"Áno, keďže potom ti nikto nerozumie."
- moja mama, most likely.

Chlapče, toto bolo šialenučké, svieže, rýchle a napísané za použitia mozgu, čiže som stihla oceniť niektoré faktory viac než by som očakávala. Creepy atmosféra nočného mesta, alternatívnej reality, zmeska detektívky, vtipu, vraž, jo. Pekné, a predsa je tu to predsa, ktoré proste bráni užiť si to naplno. Pretože...
Ak ste nečítali Sherlocka a HP Lovecraftovu
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From the Crypt: link 1 6 May 01, 2014 09:48AM  
BIG SPOILER!...If not? 3 31 Jun 26, 2013 02:47PM  
  • Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories
  • Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Night Calls
  • Shadows Over Baker Street
  • Christmas in the Trenches
  • Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
  • My Dearest Holmes
  • Press Enter
  • Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Variable Man and Other Stories
  • Kissing Sherlock Holmes
  • The Holmes-Dracula File (Dracula Series, #2)
  • With Morning Comes Mistfall
  • The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes
  • Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles
  • The Revenge of the Hound: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
  • Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula
  • The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases

Other Books in the Series

Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Fairy Reel
  • October in the Chair
  • Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire
  • Closing Time
  • Bitter Grounds
  • Other People
  • Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story
  • Harlequin Valentine
  • The Problem of Susan
  • Instructions

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“I am selfish, private and easily bored. Will this be a problem?” 1227 likes
“I have a feeling,’ he said, ‘I have a feeling that we were meant to be together. That we have fought the good fight, side by side, in the past or in the future, I do not know. I am a rational man, but I have learned the value of a good companion, and from the moment I clapped eyes on you, I knew I trusted you as well as I do myself. Yes, I want you with me.” 36 likes
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