It has been several years since I first picked up this book and I actually worked my way through half of the eight books that I have back then but given it was such a long time there was part of me that just wanted to start again from the beginning.
As I had read A Study In Scarlet before there were parts of the story that I could remember in great depth but there were also bits that had slipped from my memory and it felt like it was being read fresh for the first time. For me being able to return to a book and it feeling new or at least different bits popping out is the sign that it is a worthwhile read as it has multiple levels of complexity to it that cannot be appreciated all in one sitting.
Having read some of the books before the writing style of Arthur Conan Doyle for the Sherlock Holmes series is something that I knew worked for me. It works through in chapters and follows the journey of the detective, through the eyes of his companion Dr Watson, in a way that allows the reader to feel like they are also skulking the streets and sniffing their nose through cigar ashes with them.
This book does have a slightly different layout and approach to a lot of the other stories as it focuses on the mystery itself in the first part and then in the second part it provides a lot of background and a sequence of events that could stand as a story by itself without it resulting in an investigation. It is clear at this point that Conan Doyle was investigating with his writing style and figuring out what worked best for him and the characters in terms of making it into a popular and ongoing series to be published in the magazines.
The investigation, the detailing of the events and the descriptions of the people and their actions is really well put together and helps to build the story and in a way that allows it all to flow together instead of being jarring just to force clues and hints upon the reader. In many ways it does not attempt to give the reader too many clues but instead just lead them through the story in a standard fictional story way because the only person that is supposed to be able to understand the events and how the answers come to be properly is Sherlock Holmes himself.
It is just a really good classic book and a really friendly story to get you into the Sherlock Holmes stories. What I would say is that the books are completely different to the TV series and you cannot expect to like one and that you will automatically like the other as whilst there are some similarities it is certainly not a like for like comparison. Likewise if you have ever watched any of the films that attempt to retell these stories then you may get a completely different vibe from the book as I really feel that the way the reader gets brought into a Sherlock Holmes written story cannot be replicated by watching something that takes away many elements of the imagination.
Want to know what else I have read or am currently reading? Give me a follow on Goodreads to stay right up to date. If you have given this first Sherlock Holmes book a read I would love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below.