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Sherlock Holmes, A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, summary

Updated on May 16, 2015

The Game is Afoot

After years of reading Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it was about time I read his first one, entitled, A Study In Scarlet.

A Study In Scarlet is a story of revenge as well as a mystery or detective story. In it, we are introduced for the first time to Sherlock Holmes and to Doctor Watson, who come together, "as a means to get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price."

We are also introduced to Detective Lestrade and Tobias Gregson his rival, as well as to the Baker Street Irregulars. The Baker Street Irregulars are young hoodlum boys on the street whom Holmes refers to as "Street Arabs."

This is the first Sherlock Holmes story which I have read that follows a unique division in the plot.

The first part is the detective story where Sherlock Holmes is introduced to the crime, and, step by step, solves it through deductive reasoning.

In the second part we are taken through a very enjoyable backstory which follows the early lives of the two murdered men and their killer from their meeting through to the present day and the conclusion of the case.

This is also the first story in which Holmes utters his catch phrase, "The game is afoot."


To tell any more about the story would truly spoil it for you. But the tale includes a love story, religious persecution, a daring escape from a deadly secret society, and most importantly, The circumstances under which Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were first introduced!

I highly recommend reading A Study In Scarlet. If you like mystery stories you will not be disappointed.

Character Poll

For those who know the story, do you believe that what the man Holmes apprehended did was right or wrong?

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    • profile image

      Playmobil 6 years ago

      Cool! Thanks for the links! I love S.H series since I've watched it in my early years.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      I have read all the SH series and enjoyed everyone of them.

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 5 years ago from USA

      Vellur, I really enjoy Sherlock Holmes stories as well. I'm not certain I've read every one of them yet, but I intend to.

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 5 years ago from USA

      Playmobil, you are welcome. Thank you for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Monish 5 years ago

      You made my day bro. Thanks to you I get to do my school book review. Next i will read The Sign Of The Four and then Baskerville.

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 5 years ago from USA

      Monish, I hope you are writing your own review for school. Enjoy reading The Sign of The Four and The Hound of The Baskervilles, they are great stories!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Love these books. Great overview.

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