A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The astonishing debut of Sherlock Holmes and his partner in detection, Dr. Watson
Shot in the shoulder and brought to death’s door by typhoid fever, Dr. John Watson is sent home from the second Afghan war with a small income and nothing to do but recover his health. By his own account, he leads a meaningless existence in London until a chance encounter with an old friend brings news of comfortable lodgings on Baker Street. In a hospital laboratory, Watson meets his potential new roommate for the first time. “How are you?” asks Mr. Sherlock Holmes. “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”
With that remarkable feat of observation, one of literature’s greatest partnerships is born. In their first case, Holmes and Watson set off for an abandoned flat in Lauriston Gardens. An American has been found dead, his body unmarked, a mysterious word—Rache—spelled out in blood on the wall. Scotland Yard thinks the murderer meant to write the name Rachel, but Holmes knows better. When the dead man’s private secretary turns up stabbed through the heart, the same word scrawled nearby, it is up to the world’s only consulting detective and his eager companion to find a killer whose lust for revenge has spanned two continents and dozens of years.
This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler.
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In 1914, two silent pictures were made of A Study in Scarlet, both of which are now lost. While several adaptations followed, few adapted the novel's plot in full. For example, a 1933 film made use of the book's title, but preserved nothing of the plot (due to copyright issues, even Sherlock's address was changed to 221A Baker Street). The 1960s BBC television series Sherlock Holmes, starring Peter Cushing, offered an exceptionally faithful presentation of the novel in its second season (linked above).
Guinness World Records has listed Holmes as the "most portrayed movie character", with more than 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films. His first screen appearance was in the 1900 Mutoscope film, Sherlock Holmes Baffled.
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