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Holmes and Watson

A Study in Scarlet

Should I apologise for yet more Sherlock Holmes?


Like an idiot I hadn't realised there was a Sherlock Holmes book where the two of them met! I suppose I thought they had known each other since school days or something. Not so. And A Study in Scarlet is the book where it's explained that they took up lodgings together after Watson came home from Afghanistan, and didn't actually know each other previously. It's wonderful how bemused poor Watson is by his unusual house-mate and how he strives to get to bottom of what it is Holmes does for a living. When he eventually discovers it he then finds himself embroiled in investigating the murder of a man called Drebber from Cleveland, Ohio. Watson is astonished at some of Holmes' methods but, when the case is brought successfully to a conclusion, has to admit that they work. The last third or so of the book deals with the back story of how Drebber came to be murdered and takes place in Utah. It then moves back to London for Holmes to explain how he solved the case.

I don't know why I've never read this before. I wish I had as it explains a lot but it's also a really good read. Not perhaps on a par with The Hound of the Baskervilles but not bad. When the story moved to Utah I thought it might not be as rivetting but in reality it got even better! The tale of skulduggery in the Wild West reminded me a bit of the anthology I've just read by Ambrose Bierce. I wasn't that struck by that so why I liked Conan Doyle's version a lot more I'm not sure. It seems I'm nothing if not contrary.

And a bit of a complaint. I thought after reading this that I'd watch the dramatised version from my new boxed set. So, what did I find? It's not there. They either didn't make that one or it isn't included. Very disappointed about that.


They didn't make it? Oh, bugger. I rubbed my hands with glee thinking what a great episode *that* would make. Rats.

Love your icon. ;-p
One can never have too much Sherlock Holmes.

I really am going to have to re-read some.

This book is interesting in the way it shows how they met and get together and how they form a bond that lasts, in many ways, against all odds.
One can never have too much Sherlock Holmes.

Had a feeling we might agree upon that point. ;-)

This book was a real surprise to me and I have to say, I love how readable the writing is. Something you might not expect from a Victorian writer.

I really am going to have to re-read some.

And can I rec the 'Mary Russell' books about Holmes, by Laurie R. King. The first one was such a gorgeous read.

And this is a good oportunity to tell you that I just sent you an e.mail. Let's hope it gets there...
:-) Your feeling was correct.

I know what you mean. Some Victorian writers really are not very readable.

Thank you for the rec. Adds to list.

It has duly flown in, thank you.
They didn't film A Study In Scarlet? Well, damn. I thought they'd dramatized just about all of them, and as you say, that's one of the best. I suppose it'll have to wait for the next 'Best Sherlock Holmes Ever,' whoever he turns out to be. But for now, that's Jeremy Brett, and sadly he's gone.
*I* thought they'd made all of the SH stories too. Was absolutely astonished to find it wasn't so. Yes... I wonder who the next SH will be too. At the rate the UK TV companies are remaking stuff I wouldn't be at all surprised if a new Holmes doesn't pop up within the next few years.
In one way I'm sorry that Brett never made this, but on the other hand, he was too old for the part. It made sense dramatically to start with The Adventures and by the time they'd done that they couldn't very well go back to the first meeting and have Brett look so much older.

I enjoyed the Utah interval even though, like you, I didn't expect to.
Yes, I didn't realise it back when JB started playing Holmes, but I see now that he was too old for the part even though his looks at the time were quite youthful. Do you think that the TV company might also have been put off slightly by the difficulties of filming 'Utah'? There're not many places in the UK that you could say look like that state. ;-p
I'm sure they could have found a suitable sandpit in Dorset. ;~)

A young actor wouldn't be convincing as the Holmes of the later stories so I think Brett was the right age. If his illness hadn't taken such a toll he might have been able to play the Holmes of the first meeting at some point later in the tv series, but by then they had Watson #2 and that would have been awkward.

I wouldn't mind seeing it made with another Holmes but I can't think who could play the part.