Sunday, 22 November 2015
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle: my 100th book in 2015
A Study in Scarlet was read for the 'Brontë Reading Group' and we will meet next week to discuss it. I have only read the occasional Sherlock Holmes book, but seen films and TV-series. This is the very first book about Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, and we get to know how they met in the first place. Very soon after their first meeting they decide to share accommodations on 221B Baker Street! Very soon after that their on to their first murder mystery. The inspectors Gregson and Lestrade are contacting Holmes to get his opinion on a mysterious murder, taking place in an abandon house, no sign of violent entry and the murderer has written the word RACHE (meaning 'revenge' in German) on the wall with blood.
Sherlock with his sharp eye has soon detected a lot of clues and makes his own conclusions and investigations. As usual it is difficult for the rest of us to make the correct deductions from the evidence, but of course, Sherlock is in a league of his own. Dr Watson, as usual, is puzzled and full of admiration.
This is not a very thick book and very soon we come to the situation where Sherlock is catching the murderer. None of the others have any clue what is going on. Now is the time to tell the story of what really happened. Here the first part of the books ends very abruptly and part two, which is titled, The Sign of the Four starts. Since it is a totally different story I thought that this was actually a different book, but it is the story of the initial reason for revenge and murder. The road to revenge had been going on for twenty years, before it could be finished.
This second part of the story is totally different to the Holmes/Watson part. It is very well written, and in a different style. You can hardly imagine that it is written by the same author. Obviously it is, because in the end we come back to our little group and all the revelations. The second story is very touching and even more exciting that the actual murder piece.
It seems that only the first part was published to start with. The second part, where the background to the story is told, was only published around four years later. Seems very strange to me, but...! Not very popular to start with, it was though, the first book in a series, that became very popular and have survived to our days. The books are still popular and remakes of films and TV-series are continuing.