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A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four

Yes, we are talking about the famous or infamous Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson here. “A Study in Scarlet” and “The Sign of the Four” are two detective novels written by Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. You are all aware of the mysteries solved by Sherlock. However, very few are aware that Sir Arthur introduced Sherlock’s character to the world in 1887 with his first novel, A Study in Scarlet.

Sherlock Holmes series is like a milestone in the world of crime fiction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dipped his pen in all kind of genres. From fantasy to science fiction to humour to mysteries. Doyle started his literary career while studying medicine. After a few unsuccessful attempts at sharing his voice, his work on Sherlock became successful. Doyle once said, “My compliments on your very ingenious and exciting adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Can this be my old friend Joe Bell?”

In the statement, Doyle referred to his professor, Joseph Bell, whom he regarded as an inspiration in his life and a good friend. He believed that Bell inspired the three main characteristics in him- deduction, inference and observation skills. In his autobiography, he said this of Joseph Bell:

“It is no wonder that after the study of such a character, I used and amplified his methods. Later in life, I tried to build up a scientific detective who solved cases on his own merits and not through the folly of the criminal.”

Doyle wrote as many as 56 short stories regarding Sherlock Holmes, but only four long novels. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of The Four are two of the series’s initial novels. They gave a new light to the mystery world and crime fiction. Nowadays, crime fiction is incomplete without the mention of Sherlock Holmes.

A Study in Scarlet

Let’s start with a review:

“A series of very adventurous books. It’s interesting how Sherlock Holmes looks at a crime. And we have a lot to gain from these stories. I enjoyed it to the fullest. Thank you.”

Almost all reviews stated the one crucial factor about Sherlock, i.e. he sees a crime in a unique way. Most of the crime fiction or mystery novels are loved by the readers for their story or the writing style. However, readers appreciate this novel for the unique style of solving crimes. Sherlock is famous for solving mysteries in the quickest manner possible.

In the book, A Study in Scarlet Sherlock solves the murder mystery together with his flatmate and friend Dr Watson. In the story, Watson acts as a narrator where he tags along with Sherlock. While being with Sherlock, Dr Watson also talks about Sherlock’s deductive and observational skills. Indeed, the book gave birth to the two most popular detective duos in the fiction world.

The Sign of the Four


After the great success of A Study in Scarlet, Doyle started its sequel-  The Sign of the Four. Doyle’s imagination gave a new insight into the crime-solving world.  He introduced a character who thinks of solving crime in a unique way. One can easily visualise the wheels moving in the mind of Sherlock while reading the book. Doyle made Holmes more human by sharing adding some personality to the character in this book.

Let’s wrap by sharing this review,

“Holmes truly shows us what a great detective he is by thinking from the perspective of the criminal when he tracks them down. The chase on the Thames is truly one of my favourite moments in the book. One can truly visualise and feel the tension crackling high in these moments. “

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