Gavin's Reviews > The Scandal in Bohemia

The Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Feb 09, 12

bookshelves: crime-mystery-thriller
Read from February 08 to 09, 2012

A scandal in Bohemia is the first short Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Concerning his employment by the King of the eponymous nation and subsequent entanglement with The Woman.

Honestly, and perhaps it's because I've seen the subject matter dealt with twice in the two modern re-tellings (both Cumberbatch and Downey jr), it was a rather underwhelming (ah-ha) affair. I was expecting a clash of wits, a cunning plan, some escalating action. Anything really, but it was a bit of a misfire as far as the plot goes: Sherlock gets hired, wears a couple of costumes, tips his hand, scares her off, she leaves a snarky note. The end.

There is some rather lovely establishment of Holmes' antipathy towards involving himself with the fairer sex, the entire introductory section on the subject of l'amour is a complete joy to read and Holmes is almost universally interesting to read about. It's the material he's given here that lets him down somewhat.

As an aside; these books are obviously (what with being over a century old) incredibly regressive with regards to racial and gender equality, but in terms of their surroundings they were pretty open minded. In particular, Watson and Holmes linking arms to stroll away from the scene of their swindle was a delightful shock.
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