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A Study in Scarlet

(Sherlock Holmes #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  367,453 ratings  ·  12,592 reviews
When Dr John Watson takes rooms in Baker Street with amateur detective Sherlock Holmes, he has no idea that he is about to enter a shadowy world of criminality and violence. Accompanying Holmes to an ill-omened house in south London, Watson is startled to find a dead man whose face is contorted in a rictus of horror. There is no mark of violence on the body yet a single wo ...more
Paperback, Penguin English Library, 142 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by Penguin Books (first published November 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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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  367,453 ratings  ·  12,592 reviews


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Jayson
(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.
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Tatiana
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
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Stephen
The birth of a legend....
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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
...more
Anne
Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Killer Mormons!
But more about that later...

description

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!

description

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
...more
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
...more
emma
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?

Doubtful.

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
...more
Maureen
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Alejandro
The Game is on!


ENTER THE DETECTIVE

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
...more
Fabian
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
...more
Adrian
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
...more
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
...more
Melanie
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
“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
...more
Brina
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery
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
Delee
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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Setti
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J.L.   Sutton
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sid
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
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?
Jeff
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
...more
Carmen
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Almost Everyone
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
...more
Luffy
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kai
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
...more
Peter
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
Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Kristel
Shelves: 501, british, detective
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
Kemper
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
Merphy Napier
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, adult, mystery
4.5

I seem to be in the minority here but I think this plot is masterfully done. It was broken into two parts and the first part (the exciting mystery) was fun but my favorite was the second part. It was slow character driven and so so so good! The way the two stories weaved together was so brilliantly done and the whole thing had me freaking out! I loved it so much. My one problem with the story was that when Sherlock explained how he figured out who the killer was so quickly it just... was way
...more
Mir
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I realized recently that I never reread Sherlock Holmes. I received collected SH for Christmas when I was nine, and read it all (with the exception of Hound of the Baskervilles, which I skipped at the time because I was afraid it might involve bad things happening to dogs) over vacation. I enjoyed the stories very much but at this point only remember colorful details and quirky solutions -- some orange seeds, a secret snake, men with red hair, different colors of mud.

I don't know what happened t
...more
✨    jami   ✨
“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.”


This is my second Sherlock Holmes story having started with The Hound of the Baskervilles for a class last year. I've always meant to read all the stories because I love the character and have watched so many different versions and adaptations of these stories.

It's a solid beginning to the story, especially in introducing our main characters and s
...more
Delirious Disquisitions
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Sherlock Holmes stories/ adaptations, detective novels, short mysteries, Victorian London
You should read this if you like: Sherlock Holmes stories or its many adaptations, detective novels, short mysteries, Victorian London setting.

What a delightful read! Sherlock Holmes and his detective stories have always been a favorite of mine. But while I’m very familiar with the numerous TV and film adaptations of the series, ASIC was my first foray into the novels. As expected the reading experience was slightly different, but equally entertaining.

In A Study in Scarlet, author Arthur Cona
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Sir Arthur 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 understood) is u
...more

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...
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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.” 894 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.” 780 likes
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