A Study In Scarlet Review
By Mr. Man Guy
A Study In Scarlet, is a Mystery Thriller by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and is the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
It's about Dr. John Watson, a medical officer, working in the second Afghanistan war. After an injury, Watson has to leave the war, and goes to London. When he gets to London, he meets up with an old friend named Stamford who introduces Watson with Sherlock Holmes in a laboratory after Watson tells Stamford that he is looking for a new place to live, and Stamford saying that Holmes needs a roommate.
The two then start living together, and it is quite pleasant for the two. After Holmes tells Watson about the Science of Deduction, that he is a "consulting" detective, and that there hasn't been a good case lately, a case from Gregson (a detective from the Scotland Yard) about a murder comes by the two.
When Holmes and Watson get to the crime scene, see a deadman who hasn't been robbed, footprints in the yard, cab prints and the word RACHE(which is German for revenge). Also, a woman's ring fall off the body when the body is lifted. The body you find out is a man named Enoch Drebber. Drebber was a person who was from Cleveland, Ohio and had a secretary by the name of Joseph Stangerson.
Days after these events, Waston watches Holmes putting the pieces of the mystery together. Holmes also told Watson that by using the science of deduction, he found the age, height and complexion of the murderer. But later, Lestrade (another detective from Scotland Yard) tells Holmes and Watson that Joseph Stangerson has been killed, but by a different way than Drebber. Now, if I tell you any more of this story, I would be spoiling a lot.
The first Sherlock Holmes novel, (to me at least) is a very entertaining read. The mystery itself is very intriguing and pulls you in from the start. The scene where Watson and Sherlock talk to each other about the science of deduction is memorable. And it does give us a good view of what is to come in the later books.
But, even though is great and entertaining, it's not without its flaws. While Watson's character is explored this novel, none of the other recurring character's personality is delved into. If you just read this, you would probably think Sherlock is just a really smart and energetic person, or you wouldn't know how Gregson and Lestrade would react to something Sherlock says.
Also, starting in the last chapter of Part 1, the writing can be weak, and kinda weird. The murderer of Drebber and Stangerson just comes of no where. And when I say "comes out of no where", I really mean it, because the killer isn't referenced or mentioned at all before Sherlock figures out who the killer is.
But, the real problem, that many people critique, including I, is that (SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle doesn't depict Mormons in a good or even realistic way, and that most of Part 2 catches you off guard( not in a good way). Most of Part 2 is about the events leading up to the murder.
Now, that is fine, in fact, if most murder mysteries talked about the events leading up to the murder or crime, then I would be pleased. But when the backstory is about badly depicted Mormons, completely unrelated details and the story of a Western film, in a Sherlock Holmes story, well, it's okay, I guess. But when it's a little less than half the text in the story, it kinda makes the book seem like two novels stuck together and a forced ending in one of the two stories to connect the two together.
But, even though the killer is a Deus X Machina, and Mormons are depicted horribly, I would still give this book a read, and in my personal opinion, fondly enjoyed. When I read this, it gives me pleasure, and while the ending is a Deus X Machina, the actual mystery is pretty legit and very interesting. And, it must of been good seeing how it spawned a new major franchise that,nowadays, appears in books, movies, T.V. and more!
Overall, I would say go check it out. In fact, check this and other Sherlock Holmes stories. It's a very entertaining and interesting read, but try to skip, the parts about the American West and Mormons.