REVIEW: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are one of the literary world’s most famous detective teams. They met in Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet and readers have the pleasure of following them as they solve their first mystery together. Well, mostly Holmes does the solving.

The book is actually two tales linked together by a man in pursuit of revenge – across oceans and years. We are in London, often at 221B Baker Street or other familiar landmarks with these two bachelors as Sherlock patiently explains  the clues and his deductions to Dr. Watson.  It’s a place and storyline I am familiar with from the long ago black and white TV series and the more current one on BBC.  Though I confess that when about halfway through the audio version of this book I suddenly found myself in Utah with the mormons, my first thought was that someone had hacked into the LibreVox recording to profess the religion of the Latter Day Saints. I picked up my Kindle version to double check that this was indeed part of the book.

Dr. Watson dutifully records the casework and the confession of the nabbed culprit whose story starts with a wagon train journey west that went wrong leaving a man and a young girl the only survivors. The mormons, headed to their promised land, rescue them. The young girl grows up and falls in love with the culprit who promises to marry her, but through the actions of two of the young mormon men, she dies. He vows to kill them and follows them as they flee to Europe and finally we’re back in London.

Doyle is a witty and detailed writer who is a joy to read and his characters are wonderfully dimensional. A Study in Scarlet is a great introduction to him and his detective team.

Case closed.

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