A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Narrator: Simon Prebble
Series: Sherlock Holmes #1
Published by Tantor Media on November 23, 2009
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 163
Format: Audiobook
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three-half-stars

In the first of all the Sherlock Holmes stories, Dr. John Watson, discharged from military service after suffering severe wounds, is at a loose end until a chance encounter leads him to take rooms with a remarkable young man. The arrogant, irascible Sherlock Holmes is a master chemist, a talented musician, and an expert on all aspects of crime. And when Watson is drawn into the investigation of a bizarre murder in which Holmes is involved, he is unaware that it is the beginning of the most famous partnership in the history of criminal detection.

The mystery begins when a body turns up in an abandoned building. A baffled Scotland Yard calls in the world's first "consulting detective," Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Through observation, subterfuge, and tenacity, he is soon able to discover the identity of the assassin, but that is only the beginning of the bizarre mystery.

This audiobook includes the bonus Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band."

I was looking for something shorter to end my October with and decided I couldn’t go wrong with a Sherlock Holmes story. I’m sure I’ve read A Study in Scarlet at some time in the past, but didn’t remember much about it. It’s the first of the Holmes stories, the one where he and Watson first meet. Dr. John Watson is back from the war, in London and running a bit low on funds. He isn’t able to afford a decent apartment but is introduces to Holmes through a mutual friend. Holmes, as we know, is a “consultant detective”, consulted not only by private individuals, but also by Scotland Yard. Soon, Holmes is called to the scene of a murder, and he brings Watson along with him. We get to know a lot about Holmes. He’s strange and brilliant and has developed his own methods of detection.

Part 2 of this one goes a little amok, off into Utah and Mormonism and polygamy. It all ties up in the final section, where the killer and his motives are exposed, but honestly this isn’t my favorite of the stories.

This audio also included “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” which I always enjoy. Yes, the bad guy is obvious; yes, the murder method is ridiculous, but I think it might be one of the first I read when I was a kid and I’ve just always loved it. Holmes comes up with the solution, save the damsel in distress, and the bad guy gets his just desserts.

About Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was an Irish-Scots writer and physician, most noted for creating the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and writing stories about him which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.

He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, and for popularising the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.

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