There often tends to be something special about the very first book of an incredible series of brilliant books. And those adventures chronicling the pursuits of Sherlock Holmes are no different. Yet at the same time the shine of this book is let down by a single piece of narrative featuring love, Mormons and revenge. How, you ask, does that fit into a Sherlock Holmes adventure? Not to mention the very first Sherlock Holmes adventure. Therefore let me explain.
A Study in Scarlet introduces the now famous method of the worlds greatest consulting detective. I believe we have to say that the greatest action detective may be Batman but when it comes to analysing psychology, clues and working out the entire picture Holmes wins out. Here is also introduced John Watson and Inspector Lestrade who will become solid base characters in the detectives' famous existence.
It has been said that Doyle's stroke of genius was to have Watson narrate the adventures. And it is clear to see as through his eyes we observe the flaws and intricacies of the highly eccentric genius. But clearly if you're reading this you know the basics of the Holmes' canon.
However I know no way of properly explaining the plot to you without spoiling it. Suffice to say if you're reading this after having seen the BBC A Study in Pink version the two are very different and yet complementary. A Study in Pink having taken elements from the original story and then flipped them around. Like turning RACHE into actually meaning RACHEL.
What I will explain is the one part which let me down. There is a part in the narrative where our story splits to explaining the backstory of our murderer. Which as before mentioned involves his being in love with a woman living in a Mormon community. What happens to her before he can marry her therefore forms the basis for his murder.
If that hasn't created enough intrigue to lead you to explore the roots of Holmes then I don't know what will. Maybe I should throw a bunch of dancing, tight-rope walking monkeys with a mass murdering clown who plays the harpsichord into some kind of narrative also involving two elderly women and a young man caught in a deadly love triangle after a snake charming door to door salesman hypnotises them with his charms. Well if you'd prefer a more structured and orderly mystery I suggest you explore Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's excellent prose. Its an excellent beginning for any series and it's staggering to think it was intended as a stand alone work. However if you prefer the monkeys, clowns, love triangles and dastardly door to door salesmen I think we could talk. On the phone while I'm underground and as far away as possible.