While waiting for Book 2 of the Powder Mage Trilogy to come out and wanting to turn to that immediately upon release, I turned to the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet. With my previous exposure to Sherlock Holmes limited to the 1990’s point-and-click adventure game and the first Robert Downey Jr. film, I didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
A Study in Scarlet begins with Dr. Watson first meeting the famous consulting detective after returning from the war in Afghanistan and in need of a roommate. After impressing Watson with a series of deductive displays (figuring out from one glance that Watson had been in Afghanistan and that a messenger was a former Marine), Holmes is summoned by Scotland Yard to help solve the murder of a man found in an abandoned house. Holmes’ incredible skills are sharply contrasted with the bumbling of the two Scotland Yard detectives, Gregson and Lestrade, and Holmes identifies the murderer in due course. The second half of the book then jumps into a long backstory concerning the victim and the murderer, and while offputting at first, this part of the book also shines in presenting an engaging story.
The book is a quick read but serves as an excellent introduction into the world of Sherlock Holmes, and I look forward to reading the remaining three full-length novels and the multitude of short stories.