A Study in Scarlet is the first of the Sherlock Holmes series. It begins with the origins of Dr. Watson and how he comes to be the roommate of Sherlock Holmes. As it turns out Dr. Watson had a much more full history than one would have assumed.
Dr. Watson is intrigued by Sherlock Holmes and his eccentric studies. He is a mysterious man, not given to talking about himself. Dr. Watson finds himself drawn into the mystery that is Sherlock Holmes and decides to figure out just what it is he does for a living. He doesn't have to wait long before Sherlock surprises him by telling Dr. Watson himself.
The knowledge comes with a new mystery as London's detectives are stumped by an enigmatic murder and are calling upon Sherlock's assistance. Dr. Watson finds himself pulled into the case and like the police, is baffled by the oddity of the murder. Sherlock Holmes however, is unfazed and Dr. Watson soon finds that his roommate is a man with a unique gift for observation and analysis as he watches him unravel the mystery.
The reputation that precedes this book was not unfounded. There is a reason why Sherlock Holmes has remained a beloved character over the years and the reason is as follows. There is nothing that compares to a truly well written mystery. The books are compelling and intriguing. The reader is carried along with the mystery and simply can't put it down until reaching its conclusion. The character of Sherlock Holmes is a favorite due to his ability to triumph over his adversaries with nothing but his intelligence and careful planning. It's an undeniably delightful read.
It's important to read the classics, but it's even more important to read the good ones. There are many that don't stand up well against the test of time. They're boring, they're painfully long and seem to refuse to get to the point, or they simply don't compare to some of today's better writers. A Study in Scarlet holds up surprisingly well. The mystery and it's conclusion are still surprising and enjoyable. Sherlock Holmes is not a character that should be lost to history, he needs to be enjoyed for generations.