A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet is the first published story in the famous series dedicated to the detective Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes when they become roommates at the famous 221 b Baker Street. Here we are going to find the first portrait of Holmes, through the eyes of Dr. Watson: “He was certainly not a difficult man to live with. He was quiet in his ways, and his habits were regular. It was rare for him to be up after ten at night, and he had occasionally breakfasted and gone out before I rose in the morning. Nothing could exceed his energy when the working fit was upon him.”

A Study in Scarlet is one of those novels that Chesterton called “the good bad books.” A book that has no literary pretensions, but that remains readable and resists the test of time, when books with much more serious pretensions do not pass this test.

Most of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books were, unfortunately, “bad bad books,” which have disappeared. But the series dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, starting with A Study in Scarlet, can be read and reread at any time and at any age. Another memorable portrait of Sherlock Holmes has been left to us by G.K. Chesterton:

“Sherlock Holmes is not really a real logician. He is an ideal logician imagined by an illogical person… But Sherlock Holmes is an ideal figure, and in an imaginative sense a very effective one. He does embody the notion which unreasonable people entertain of what pure reason would be like.”


  • Author: Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
  • Original title: A Study in Scarlet
  • Original language: English
  • Genre: Detective novel
  • Publication year: 1887-1888
  • Public: Adults, teenagers
A Study in Scarlet