Title: A Study in Scarlett
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Series: Sherlock Holmes #1
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 word is written on the wall in blood. Dr Watson is as baffled as the police, but Holmes’s brilliant analytical skills soon uncover a trail of murder, revenge and lost love…
I enjoyed this so much more than I thought. I will admit I was somewhat familiar with the story having seen various TV renditions and read numerous retellings of this particular story, so I thought I knew the general flow and story line. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t know as much as I had previously believed. The change in tone to a western style life story of a yet unknown character took me a little by surprise and threw me a little bit as I tried to familiarise myself with the abrupt change in narration style but eventually I found this section to be gripping and how it wove back into Watson’s narrative and explained the crime Sherlock was tracking was quite interesting and something I hadn’t come across in the retellings I had read.
I found reading these gave me a completely different mental image than characters that I had seen portrayed and I really started developing my own view of this well known pair. I enjoyed the writing style, the musings of Dr Watson mixed in with his factual reporting of the events gave it an easy style to read and I found myself drawn into the story. I am glad I finally picked up this one and will be continuing on with the collection of Holmes stories.