A Study in Scarlet
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle
The first of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s stories to feature the iconic characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson, the title is taken from Holmes’ monologue to his friend Watson wherein he describes the story’s murder investigation as his ‘study in scarlet’: “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.” It’s a classic quote from a widely acclaimed work of detective fiction, but what did one bestselling local crime writer make of it..?
I first discovered A Study in Scarlet when I was a child, hidden inside an anthology of Conan-Doyle sitting on my parents’ bookshelf. At the time, I had no idea it was considered a masterwork of detective fiction but, from the very first line, I was hooked. Conan-Doyle doesn’t waste words, which makes for a better reading experience. The characters are finely drawn, but that shouldn’t overshadow the stories themselves, which are well-conceived and satisfying. Put another way, A Study in Scarlet is like sinking your teeth into a fresh stottie cake— so, why not do yourselves a favour and take some time to savour it, this month?
Where to find it