Amazingly, this is the first Sherlock Holmes story I have read – I don’t know how I have gone through life without reading one of these books but somehow I have. I have a whole volume now though, so have plenty to work my way through and enjoy.

This particular story revolves around the discovery of a dead body in an abandoned house with a look of horror etched on his face and with a mysterious word written on the wall in blood! You couldn’t ask for a more fascinating and gripping beginning to a detective story, could you? The police are completely baffled as to the method of his death, where he has come from, or who has killed him. The story goes all the way to the Mormons in America, and seemed an extremely obscure solution – but, of course, Holmes has it all worked out.

I enjoyed this story, although the solution seemed slightly far-fetched and not one that a reader would have any chance of guessing, and this possibility of guessing is part of the fun of detective books. But I enjoyed all Holmes’ deductions and the way he gleans so much information from something as minor as carriage wheels. His dependency on cocaine, and the description of him injecting it into his veins, surprised me – I was aware he was addicted to something, but wasn’t aware it was this. I agreed with Watson’s viewpoint that he was a strong enough personality not to need this crutch, and the damage that it could do to his fine brain. But I also liked the fact that Holmes, the genius, is depicted with flaws and weaknesses.

I felt I had to take it all with a huge pinch of salt, but then you have to do that with lots of detective stories. I have been assured that his other stories are not quite so obscure, so I look forward to reading the rest of the volume.

Title: Study in Scarlet <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Doyle, Arthur Conan <>Publisher: OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS
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