A Study In Scarlet Book Review

A Study in Scarlet: Book Review by Dinh

4.5 stars


A Study in Scarlet Book Review






This is my first e-book and I am glad that I started with this amazing detective novel that first introduced Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. A Study in Scarlet is the first in the series of the infamous Sherlock Holmes novels.

The e-book that I read is the fully illustrated Sherlock Holmes novel, 1893 edition , unabridged, 159 pages by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.



Dr. John Watson, a wounded discharged military surgeon has returned from the war in Afghanistan and is looking for lodgings.

He meets an old acquaintance by the name of Stamford whilst at the Criteron Bar and tells him of his problem. He needs comfortable lodgings at a reasonable price.

Stamford introduces Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes who so happen to have found rooms that he likes and can’t afford the place and needs someone to go halves with him.

After meeting Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson moves into 221B Baker Street, London with fellow lodger.

Soon after, Holmes is asked to help investigate a bizarre death at Lauriston Gardens by Scotland Yard‘s Lestade and Gregson.  Dr. Watson tags along.

The murder is of a dead man with no obvious wounds in an empty manor. On the walls written in blood is the word “Rach.”



The Study in Scarlet is a fantastic book to start reading in the Sherlock Holmes series.  I absolutely loved reading this book.

The book title A Study in Scarlet taken from a Sherlock Holmes who aptly named the investigation and explained why.

“There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

Page- Turner

I found A Study in Scarlet easy and quick to read. It was also nicely written and it kept me turning the pages.

Conan Doyle’s writing is very direct and the plot has great pace.

I also liked how the book was divided in two parts. In part one we have the murder investigation, and then in part two we have the motive.

Part one is narrated in Dr. Watson’s voice. I enjoyed how Watson shows Sherlock’s powers of deduction and how he admires Holmes for it.

Part two gives an interesting history of the Mormons and the motive to behind the murder in part one.

Awesome Characters

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are famous iconic characters that are well known not only in literature but also in movies and TV series that have been adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.

I admire the genius of Holmes’ mind at work in this book. Bearing in mind that this book was first published in 1887, Holmes techniques were avant garde for that period and must not be compared to this age.

I love Holmes’ detective method. We see him unlock and unravels an investigation quite quickly. As told by Dr. Watson we have the explanation to the facts as seen though the eyes of Holmes.

Holmes finds clues that Lestrade and Gregson misses.

Holmes uses logic and deduction to solve his investigations. There is a science to his deduction. He has a turn for both “observation and deduction.”

There’s a quality about Holmes that I like. He is eccentric and a genius. Conan Doyle’s has created a character that we all can adore.

Dr. Watson character is a nice compliment to Holmes. He is smart and has an inquiring mind.

I liked the way Dr. Watson tried to guess what Holmes did for a living. Dr. Watson writes a list and cross out things that he knew of Holmes.

For example, Holmes has no knowledge of literature, philosophy or astronomy, a little knowledge of politics, but plays the violin well, has immense knowledge of sensational literature, is an expert boxer and swordsman and has profound knowledge in chemistry.

Watson does not have to wait long to find out as Holmes explains to him his job as a consulting detective.

Good Plot

The plot is interesting. We have a bizarre murder and find out the motive at the end when Holmes catches the killer. Holmes solves the case rather quickly.

Final thoughts

A Study in Scarlet is a great introduction to Sherlock Holmes and how he and Dr. Watson became flatmates. I enjoyed reading about the murder investigation and finding out more about Holmes and Dr. Watson. I am ready to pick up the next installment The Sign of Four!


You can get the Kindle edition of A Study in Scarlet here  or the paperback version here.


Have you read A Study in Scarlet or other Sherlock Holmes novels? Let me know if you liked them!

24 thoughts on “A Study In Scarlet Book Review

  1. This is book seems interesting. I like to learn how relationships start between Watson and Holmes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Bina,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I enjoyed finding out how Holmes and Watson met and the circumstances.

      It’s a terrific little introduction to the iconic dual and how their relationship will progress.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    1. Hi Peter!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

      Haha, I think that is one popular line from Conan Doyle’s books. His books are filled with good quotes. 🙂

      I do also enjoy PBS’ Sherlock staring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, even though it’s a modern telling of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels.

      Please drop by again!

  2. Dinh, I do appreciate your posts, especially since I am a librarian. I will be recommending his book as well as bookmarking your post for future reference. It sounds like a great read, I will check it out. Great post. All the best.

    1. Hello Josephine!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I love talking with librarians as most of them have good recommendations. They know what is being checked out and what is popular to read. You must be on the pulse 🙂

      A Study in Scarlet is a good read and it’s short and not wordy so it’s enjoyable.

      Please stop by again!

  3. Hey Dinh, this looks like a great read! I have always enjoyed mystery books and shows. I love the suspense and the uncertainty of who did it. When its the person you least expect its always the best! This one looks like an interesting read I will check it out!

    1. Hi Matt!
      Thanks for your comments.
      I agree with you that it’s best when you can’t figure it out until the end. I love books that pull me in and keep me guessing until the end.
      With A Study in Scarlet, I liked how Sherlock Holmes figured it out so quickly and I love the deductive reasoning!

      It’s a quick read and very enjoyable so I hope you do pick it up to read and let us know what you think. 🙂

  4. Hi Dinh, I’m going to try to comment again. Hopefully this time WP will take my comment. =)

    Great writing will last the test of time. Even over a century later, Conan Doyle’s writing still appeals. A Study in Scarlet sounds very interesting, and I’ll have to check it out. Great review!

    1. Hi Lonna,
      thanks for trying to comment again.

      I’ve had some technical difficulties with WP. Some plugin was stopping my visitors from commenting and I didn’t find out about it until someone told me. Ah, now at least it’s fixed. 🙂

      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing is great. No messing around or beating around the bush. I like that he is articulate and love the plots!

      Thanks for your compliment and I’ll talk to you again!

  5. I love Sherlock Holmes- books, movies and TV!

    I’ve not read the first book though and I think I will give A Study in Scarlet a try. Another to add to my TBR list 🙂

    1. Hi Susan!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I’m glad your a fan of Sherlock Holmes. I think you will really enjoy A Study in Scarlet. I love to find out how Watson and Holmes become friends and flat mates.

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

  6. Hi, Dinh!
    Thank you for your sharing on the first book in Sherlock Holmes series. I read some of the books about Holmes investigating different cases, but this is my first time to know the name of the first book in this series. I like this series. Because the plots are interesting to read. After reading your post, I think I should check it out when I am free.

    1. Hi Anthony,
      thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      I love Sherlock Holmes and his deductive method. It’s really cool how he uses forensics to help him figure things out.
      I do hope you check it out. The book is quite short and a very enjoyable read. It’s like watching a TV show but in book form.

      Please drop by again!

  7. I have been on a book kick lately and I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes to some extent. I will say the most recent movies were very well done. That being said though, I never thought of looking for older stuff like this as an E-book. I guess I am still kind of old fashion still. Nice that you can still get a hard copy too.

    1. Hi James!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      This is my first e-book and I was surprised that I liked it. I am giving the e-book a try as well as audio-books a try as I am finding I am not not making the most of my time. It’s great to do an e-book or audio-book when I am on the tread mill.:)

      I love to watch Sherlock Holmes on TV or movies. Most of the adapted stuff are done well.

      I am looking forward to reading and finding out more about Sherlock Holmes’ detective methods particularly his explanation of his deduction.

      Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to talking to you again. 🙂

  8. Really cool Dinh! I love Sherlock Holmes, although I haven’t done much reading just the movies mainly.

    I am definitely putting this on my reading list. Do you have any other Sherlock Holmes books you would recommend?

    1. Hi Ryan!
      Thanks for your comments.

      I have always enjoyed watching Sherlock Holmes either on TV or at the movies and read about it but not the actual books.

      I am glad that you are putting this down on your reading list. I really enjoyed it and hope that you will too.

      I am currently reading the second Holmes book so at this moment I have not read enough to recommend more. I do suggest that you read A Study in Scarlet though.

      Thanks for popping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

  9. I haven’t read any Sherlock Holmes books in years. Your review was so good that I want to get this book and read it. I enjoyed reading about the characters and your descriptions of them. I could feel the enthusiasm you must have had when you wrote this review. I’m looking forward to reading more of your book reviews.

    1. Hi Alice!
      Thanks for your comments.

      You should read A Study in Scarlet. It’s a nice, easy and quick read and will get you back into the Sherlock Holmes novels. A Study in Scarlet is a brilliant introduction to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
      I’ve started reading book 2 and I am thoroughly enjoying that as well. 🙂

      Thanks for popping in at Arlene’s Book Club and we hope to talk to you again!

  10. Hi.
    I like detective stories and have seen some of the stories with Holmes and Dr. Watson. The interaction between the two of them are intriguing and fascinating as for the story itself.
    I felt this review about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was kind of a story itself. I could feel your enthusiasm when telling about the plot and story of this book and I felt rather exciting and alive.
    Thanks for a really good review.


    1. Hi Tove!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

      I love mystery/crime/thrillers and the Sherlock Holmes books are just the ticket to a good read.
      I love watching the movie and TV adaptation from the books but there’s nothing like reading the book and getting a better insight to the wonderful interaction and relationship that the iconic duo have.

      Thanks for your kind words!

  11. Always find Sherlock Holmes a fascinating read.
    I have not read this one and this excellent review makes me want to go out and get it right away!

    1. Hi David!
      Thanks for your comments.
      I have just begun the Holmes and Watson journey and I am loving it! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle does not beat around the bush and I like his plots- all make for a great read!

      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!

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