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A Study in Scarlet (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – June 10, 2003
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Arthur Conan Doyle's Study in Scarlet is the first published story involving the legendary Sherlock Holmes, arguably the world's best-known detective, and the first narrative by Holmes's Boswell, the unassuming Dr. Watson, a military surgeon lately returned from the Afghan War. Watson needs a flat-mate and a diversion. Holmes needs a foil. And thus a great literary collaboration begins.
Watson and Holmes move to a now-famous address, 221B Baker Street, where Watson is introduced to Holmes's eccentricities as well as his uncanny ability to deduce information about his fellow beings. Somewhat shaken by Holmes's egotism, Watson is nonetheless dazzled by his seemingly magical ability to provide detailed information about a man glimpsed once under the streetlamp across the road.
Then murder. Facing a deserted house, a twisted corpse with no wounds, a mysterious phrase drawn in blood on the wall, and the buffoons of Scotland Yard--Lestrade and Gregson--Holmes measures, observes, picks up a pinch of this and a pinch of that, and generally baffles his faithful Watson. Later, Holmes explains: "In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward.... There are few people who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result." Holmes is in that elite group.
Conan Doyle quickly learned that it was Holmes's deductions that were of most interest to his readers. The lengthy flashback, while a convention of popular fiction, simply distracted from readers' real focus. It is when Holmes and Watson gather before the coal fire and Holmes sums up the deductions that led him to the successful apprehension of the criminal that we are most captivated. Subsequent Holmes stories--The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes--rightly plunge the twosome directly into the middle of a baffling crime, piling mystery upon mystery until Holmes's denouement once more leaves the dazzled Watson murmuring, "You are wonderful, Holmes!" Generations of readers agree. --Barbara Schlieper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—A great way to introduce young adult readers to Sherlock Holmes. This unabridged version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novel has been updated with Grimly's signature dark and stylized illustrations. The artwork suits the sinister, bizarre nature of the tale—the characters have crazy, twisted hairstyles, super skinny necks, and are reminiscent of graphic-novel figures. Readers will quickly become absorbed in the story of the first time that Holmes meets his future partner Watson, who has just returned from an exhausting military stint in Afghanistan. Police are baffled at first when a dead man is discovered in an empty house and the word "RACHE" is scrawled in blood on the wall. Holmes's powers of deduction keep the plot engaging. Readers will also enjoy the flashback to the origins of the murder, which lends a heartbroken romanticism to the tale. Even though this mystery was originally published in a bygone era, the sinister plot will hook modern-day readers. Hand it to teens and expect them to come back for more literature from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Recommended for most public libraries.—Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The opening sequence of "A Study in Scarlet" introduces British Army Doctor John H. Watson, in London on leave to recover from a wound suffered in Afghanistan. Needing a roommate, he is introduced by a former medical colleague to Mr. Sherlock Holmes, a distinctive individual whose unique occupation as a consulting detective will not be immediately apparent. This sequence is key to the partnership and the Holmes legend: Watson needs a roommate and finds a purpose as chronicleer of his friend's cases, while the theatrical Holmes seems to need an audience to do his best work.
The mystery at hand concerns the dramatic murders of two Americans visiting London. Holmes is consulted by Scotland Yard, whose leading detectives are baffled. Holmes invites Watson to accompany him on the case. The mystery is unfolded in two parts. The first has Holmes identifying the culprit in London; the second has the necessary backstory to the murders.
"A Study in Scarlet" was not the best of the Holmes cases; Conan Doyle's stories and characters got better with practice. However, this first case is a vital introduction to the series and to a highly recommended set of graphic novels starring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
you don't understand the true meaning of the reference to scarlet,till the case and story unfolds,then it becomes one of those books
for the "must read again" books.