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A Study in Scarlet

(Sherlock Holmes #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  396,037 ratings  ·  14,306 reviews
Our first meeting with Sherlock Holmes. And John Watson's too! The young doctor is astonished by Holmes' many idiosyncrasies, including his talents on the violin.

But it's not long before Sherlock Holmes, with Watson in tow, is working with Scotland Yard investigating the murder of two Americans whose deaths have some mysterious connection to sinister groups gathering power
Paperback, 123 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by (first published November 1st 1887)
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Mike I agree with Nathan's comments. I read A Study in Scarlet after watching Sherlock's "A Study in Pink". Different story with some common elements. I es…moreI agree with Nathan's comments. I read A Study in Scarlet after watching Sherlock's "A Study in Pink". Different story with some common elements. I especially appreciated the way both handle the "Rache" clue. Worth checking both (BBC series and this book) out.(less)

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(A-) 82% | Very Good
Notes: Despite its mediocre sojourn to Utah, it's an enjoyable read, and an interesting look at the original version of Holmes.
Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel is utterly unimpressive. In short, the book starts like this:

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 Mormons, polyga
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 n
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Killer Mormons!
But more about that later...


Ok, the big deal about this one is that you get to see the Sherlock/Watson meet-cute. I mean, this is one of the most important meetings in the history of all literature! Come on, people! Get excited!


It's only fair to mention that I've read and reread all of these stories a bjillion times, and these are by far my favorite classic characters.
Well, except for Lizzie & Mr. Darcy...
But I know I haven't read P&P as many ti
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1), Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet is an 1887 detective novel by British author Arthur Conan Doyle. Written in 1886, the story marks the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, who would become two of the most famous characters in popular fiction.

The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes, a consulting detective, to his friend and chronicler Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigati
Vit Babenco
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read A Study in Scarlet first time I was very young and the tale seemed to be wonderfully mysterious…
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 skilful
Who's the better detective: Sherlock Holmes, or me when I'm trying to figure out someone's entire moral compass based solely on who they're following on Instagram?

Like, sure, Holmesy might use the power of observation more effectively than any other fictional detective in history, but does he even know which usernames are red flags?


This is one of the better mysteries, like, ever, but in terms of pacing it still manages to be a total nightmare. Stopping the entire narrative at the climax
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Started 2021 with this classic from Arthur Conan Doyle. A reread and so worth reading again. Very enjoyable!
Henry Avila
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This nifty novel ( really a novella) the first Sherlock Holmes book written in 1887, is rather strange since it is set both in the culture, of brimming Victorian London, 1881, and the
dry , very hot desolate deserts of the savage wastelands of Utah, 1847 , nothing here...before there was a state established there or giving that name. Or even part of the United States, since technically still Mexican territory , neglected by them and ruled by the Ute Indians... hence the appropriate appellation
The Game is on!


It's in this very first novel where the great character Sherlock Holmes, along with Dr. John Watson, are introduced to the audience in their first case together.

It wasn't an instantenous success, but gladly it was appreciated soon enough to the point that when the author, Sir Arhur Conan Doyle, wanted to "kill" the character, not only their loyal fans wrote letters against the decision (something unheard at those times) for not saying that even people in
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite clearly marvelous to see how the rules of detective fiction/noir are placed so meticulous and clear in this, the first Sherlock Holmes novel. Halfway the locale turns exotic--Holmes already knows who the culprit is--and, fittingly, the motive is but half the story! What a feeling of pervasive excitement the mid 19th century had with these cerebral, albeit universal, yarns of suspense.

As slight-yet-surprising a tome as (another English hero) James Bond's first foray, Ian Fleming's ultracool
“There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination there is no horror”

I’m going to keep this short and (somewhat) sweet, because this is a very short little introduction that started it all. Everyone’s favorite original detective is Sherlock Holmes, and I’ve been wanting to see how it all began for a long while now! But I can honestly say that I was not prepared for the last half of this tiny book. Yet, I am still happy that I can finally s
August 2020 5 stars ⭐️
Group read for English Mysteries, as part of ongoing a complete Holmes buddy read.
So having just finished this book, I am seriously considering upping my rating to 5 stars. I had forgotten how good it was, even the bit that I had previously found rather boring, (view spoiler).
So I shall have to give serious thought over the next few days as to whether the wonderful scenes of the first encou
Nilesh Kashyap
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 th
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, classics
Mysteries are my go to palette cleanser in between denser reads. I have a few go to series, but as my current contemporary series may be winding down, I am always on the lookout for mysteries both old and new. Even though the phrase "elementary, my dear Watson," has become part of the vernacular, I have never read a single Sherlock Holmes story. Looking to alleviate that, I decided to encounter Holmes and Watson when they first met in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first novella, A Study in Scarlet, c ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson novel, Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet is just lots of fun! The scenes, especially in part 1 are ones we've seen interpreted in shows like BBC's Sherlock, but it's definitely enjoyable to read about (as well as watch) how it all started. In my mind, this book is most compelling for bringing Holmes and Watson together (and for making Watson the chronicler and foil of Holmes' amazing deductions). Doyle makes Holmes every bit as interesting a ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
I think there’s no hope in near future: for Cumberbatch and Freeman’s reuniting to play in more Sherlock episodes. And I don’t know how many times re-binge watch those series! So I decided to read the books and learn more about adapted characters, getting lost in new adventures that didn’t have a chance to get adaptation into series!

Pros: this is amazing to go back to Baker Star, seeing how Sherlock and Watson’s paths were crossed.

Cons: it was a little complicated story Utah,mormons was not wh
A STUDY IN SCARLET!!! First group-read for the intact official Non-Crunchy-Sans Pants- for no reason that I can figure out...but none-the-less...NON pants wearing GRs classic reading group.

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I read A STUDY IN SCARLET waaaaaaaay back in my younger days- and remembered very little of it. To be perfectly honest- I remembered the title...and reading it- but nothing else. Whether it is my memory...or the fact that it wasn't memorable can be argued- but I liked it. A LOT.

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Ah, the first Sherlock novel. The one that introduced us to the world's greatest detective. The one he seemingly hands over to another narrator for a third of the book…

Do you want to hear Doyle rant about Mormons for a good third of the book? If that is the case, you my dear friend are in luck! For everyone else, the mystery of this book is fairly interesting, but the long section where we break away from our leads is more of a sad story with more than a touch of the author standing up and ranti
This first investigation revolving around the murder of this man in a suit found dead without apparent injury is not particularly hectic but remains very intriguing and reads very quickly. The second part of the novel, which corresponds to the investigation's resolution and the culprit's explanations, takes a rather unexpected but fascinating turn. The Holmes-Watson duo works well in this novel as its adaptation, and it was an immense pleasure for me to find that again.
A study in red marks the b
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. Thw question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?
Kai Spellmeier
“There is no satisfaction in vengeance unless the offender has time to realize who it is that strikes him, and why retribution has come upon him.”

Sherlock Holmes is a legend. I've watched movies and TV shows, heard stories and read adaptions, but to this day I never read the original work. I wondered if original Sherlock would own up to BBC Sherlock, and so he did. But while their personalities are quite similiar, their stories still differ a lot, which was to be expected. I have to admit that
This is an underwhelming debut for one of literature’s most famous characters.

Doyle’s Sherlock is in the nascent stage here and isn’t the fully fleshed out character, readers came to know. The steady and reliable narrator, Dr. John Watson gets introduced to Holmes in Watson’s attempts to find a roommate.

“Can two odd Victorian Era men share a flat without driving each other crazy?”

Sure, why not.

Watson takes measure of Holmes:

Although the illustration below belies it, the producers of the TV sh
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a reread. I have read this book many times. It still holds up well. Sherlock Holmes is here, intact, unchanged, canon.

Both Lestrade and Watson are a foil to Sherlock's genius. I liked reliving the case and its unraveling. It was a nicety to concentrate on the serious side but also the humor. Rache!

Books like this always hold up. The prose is so modern sounding. Books that came after ASiS, are sometimes so outdated. But not here. Sherlock's various incarnations - I wouldn't say pale in c
Gregson and Lestrade had watched the maneuvers of their amateur companion with considerable curiosity and some contempt. They evidently failed to appreciate the fact, which I had begun to realize, that Sherlock Holmes's smallest actions were all directed towards some definite and practical end.

This is the first Sherlock Holmes story, a novel which introduces the now legendary detecting team of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Watson is looking for a roommate and is introduced to Holmes with some
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine mystery by a genuine master storyteller. An accident happens and Frank Alder brings the injured fellow, Felix Stanniford, into his house. The house is deserted, one room is even sealed. What is behind that door and why did Felix' father, a banker, disappeared almost ten years ago? Felix is allowed to open the sealed room on his 21st birthday. If you read this story you will know about the secret of the sealed room. Compelling pageturner. Highly recommended! ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Ah! My dear reader of review, I see you have just returned from Afghanistan, in a black cab, driven by an Italian driver, on your way here you stopped for breakfast at a McDonald's where you were served by a pregnant red-headed lady. I am sure you are wondering how I know all this. Well, my dear fellow (I have also immediately deduced your gender) I have my methods. Now, to the matter of writing this A Study in Scarlet review, that, my friend, is a three pipes problem.

Wait! Don't go away just ye
Mar 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
To a great mind, nothing is little.

Sherlock Holmes's first foray in detective fiction and my second time around with this great novel. We are introduced to John Watson, the narrator and medical soldier, at the beginning while he comes back from Afghanistan with an injury and arrives in London where he knows absolutely nobody and lives a lonely existence. As luck would have it, an old friend drops by and informs Watson that he knows a man who needs help with paying half of his lodgings and would
Elle (ellexamines)
When I read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in May, it stuck with me almost immediately. This did not. It has been like four months and I do not remember a single plot point and I frankly do not want to.

Study in Scarlet is not a bad book. Let’s just get that out there. It’s an interesting book, actually, towards the beginning—the first few scenes are exciting, and do an excellent job at setting up the characters of Holmes and Watson. It’s easy to see why these stories were such an overnight s
K.D. Absolutely
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
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Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, a talented illustrator, 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 underst

Other books in the series

Sherlock Holmes (9 books)
  • The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #6)
  • The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes, #7)
  • His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes, #8)
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #9)

Articles featuring this book

With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with...
323 likes · 351 comments
“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.” 928 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.” 810 likes
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