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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (535,472 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Conan Doyle Narrator: Laurie Anne Walden Publisher: Author's Republic Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781518925474
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A Study in Scarlet, a short novel published in 1887, was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story. At the beginning of the book, Dr. Watson meets the detective for the first time and we ride along with them to the scene of a murder. The crime baffles the Scotland Yard detectives, but of course Holmes solves it easily. In the second half of the story, the scene shifts to Utah as we learn the murderer's history. The action returns to London in the last two chapters. In his first adventure, Holmes demonstrates many of the traits for which he later became well known: meticulous study of a crime scene, brilliant deductive reasoning, aptitude for chemistry and music, and the somewhat annoying habit of withholding crucial facts from Watson (and consequently the reader) until the conclusion of the case. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annika | 2/19/2014

    " After reading the first Sherlock Holmes story, I honestly cannot believe that he ever became a household name. The parts of the story that are narrated by Watson are charming, but the (much longer) middle section is TERRIBLE. It reads like one of those ridiculous "riddles" where a man eats rare bird and promptly kills himself, and you have to ask questions to determine that years ago the man was stranded on a desert island with his wife, who died, and another companion who fed him rare bird, only now that the man has eaten that rare bird he knows that what he ate on the island must have been HIS WIFE. Truly, it's terrible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/15/2014

    " The worst of the Sherlock Holmes Novels, but it's still pretty good, and it's where Holmes and Watson first meet, so it's critically important. For that I almost want to give it one more star. The funny bit is that it does a tremendously weird thing where you're reading right along about Holmes, and then suddenly you're not. You're reading about mormons. It takes a long time to figure out why. I remember just being confused for a while. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 2/13/2014

    " An interesting book, but did really captivate me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacey | 2/13/2014

    " Mystery novels aren't really my thing, but I really liked this story. It was relatively quick and fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 India | 2/10/2014

    " I loved how intricately woven this story was. I expected nothing less of Doyle, but I was still pleasantly fascinated as I turned each page. Having seen BBC's Sherlock prior to reading this story I was also intrigued by how much detail the writers put into the show! I hope to always read them together because both bring a new level of excitement to my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 2/5/2014

    " Starting over and reading all the conan doyle? Awesome! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave Rench | 2/2/2014

    " I think the book I read was corrupted. I don't think the full story was in there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dani | 1/31/2014

    " I got bored. So I couldn't finish it. Will probably pick up another Sherlock novel some other time but this one isn't for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Allen | 1/30/2014

    " It's hard not to love the story that started the phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing is like a shirt that's been perfectly starched--crisp but comfortable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy Dorr | 1/29/2014

    " Getting started with the Sherlock canon. Kind of a weird turn to focus half the book on the backstory of a character, but it was a fun read overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Coleman Concannon | 1/24/2014

    " Well written. Great start for Holmes, but too short/simple mystery. Change in narrative in middle off-putting/good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Dosemagen | 1/21/2014

    " The background part about Jefferson Hope and the Mormons was a bit odd... but the book was good overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan Fordham | 1/19/2014

    " First Sherlock Holmes story. Great fun, though a bit long on the exposition at the end. Still worth the time if you enjoy Sherlock. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Comfort | 1/18/2014

    " great first book to the Sherlock series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oona | 1/17/2014

    " I read this after having watched BBC's Sherlock: A Study in Pink. I absolutely loved the book and became more impressed with the show. Sherlock (the show) included some funny things that I would not have got had I not read the book. ...SPOILERS...For example: In the book RACHE, german for revenge, is written on the wall in the book. Whereas in the show Anderson sees that the dead woman scratched "RACHE" on the floor and suggests that the case has something to do with revenge. Here Sherlock replies something of the sort: "Shut up Anderson, it obviously mean Rachel." (which of course, it turns out it does.) Anyway, I absolutely loved A Study in Scarlet and all the other Sherlock Holmes stories! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anaala | 1/15/2014

    " I rather enjoyed the story of how the two met. Holmes is certainly more expressive in this book, I'm going to have a go at the series in order. It will be interesting to see how his character grew into that of the calm, sometimes arrogant figure that I've come to know and love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brigitte | 1/15/2014

    " Wow! This was a great book! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is so clever with coming up with these things! It was a really spectacular read, and I recommend to anyone and everyone! :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harrison Cade | 1/14/2014

    " A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the first published Sherlock Holmes story. Like all of Holmes' adventures, A Study in Scarlet presents a crime case which to the average eye seems impossible to solve, all but that of the Victorian detective. The story like most of the others is told from the perspective of Dr. John Watson, and tells of how Holmes and he first met each. From their like all Holmes stories a mysterious crime is committed, and a case is presented to the pair. The story is divided in three-parts, the first describes Dr. Watson's early bond with the detective and the two murders, the second explains why the murders were done in the form of a second-person narrative, and the third tells of how the case concluded. The length of the novel is small, but the content is grand. The relationship between Watson and Holmes is entertaining and humorous, and the crime captures the reader's imagination. The greatest part of the story is that if you are not used to stories about mysteries and crime, you'll only be able to solve the crime once it has been explained by the protagonist. However, this is what makes the story fun, because it is a hard struggle to keep up with the plot. Even if the reader does not plan on being a detective when they grow up, they must remember that being the crime solver is Sherlock Holmes' job, for the time being the reader's job is to watch the eccentric hero what he does best....proving people wrong "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 torque | 1/13/2014

    " My introduction to Holmes. I'm excited to read more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hristina Ivanova | 1/12/2014

    " I've read almost every story about our good friends Holmes and Watson and no one of them has ever disappointed me. I really enjoyed that one. It was twisted and didn't really knew the truth until the author himself gave it away. In a nutshell- I really liked and enjoyed the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/11/2014

    " Inspired by the show to read the books, and I love them equally. I could have done without the long details of the Mormons/wildernessbut it didn't take awayfrom the rest of it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashlyn Bieber❤ | 1/8/2014

    " I would recommend this book because it was interesting and hard to put down it has a lot of British words that can sometimes be hard to understand.i would recommend it to people in 7th and 8th grade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/8/2014

    " "The public hisses at me but I applaud myself in my own house and simultaneously contemplate the money in my chest." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald | 1/5/2014

    " awal mula pertemuan sherlock dgn Watson. certa yg menarik bagi semua penggemar serial detektif eksentrik ini. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Upasana | 1/3/2014

    " Introduction to the world's best and only consulting detective Mr.Sherlock Holmes. This book is divided in two parts, second being a bit slow. Despite being slow, I was able to finish it so as to move on to the other adventures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/30/2013

    " After watching the BBC mini series Sherlock, I decided to listen to the book and see where the inspiration came from as I had never read them before. I was very fun to listen to and hear the narrators change their voices for the various characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa Debroux | 12/27/2013

    " I have all of the Sherlock Homes books and enjoyed them very much, always a interesting twist! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kandace | 12/24/2013

    " 1st half is excellent. The 2nd half was hard to read because of the inaccurate details about mormon history and culture. I read it because I wanted to find out the details of the solved mystery, but it was difficult for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sunshine | 12/23/2013

    " Wow, my very first Sherlock Holmes but was more awesome than I expected it to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen Brooks | 12/20/2013

    " It was really interesting to see the famous characters at the very beginning of their adventures. But I was rather shocked when the story took a left turn and ended up in Utah! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shani | 12/1/2013

    " Loved it, loved it, loved it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noemie | 11/30/2013

    " I enjoyed it, but not to the point where I would go out of my way and recommend it to friends. I like it when the reader gets several chances to try and guess who the perpetrator is. You can't do that here...just accept that Sherlock has all the answers. However, it was brilliantly written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa Debroux | 11/30/2013

    " I have all of the Sherlock Homes books and enjoyed them very much, always a interesting twist! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joylowe30 | 11/24/2013

    " Just a fantastic book. A must read for e everyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dani | 11/14/2013

    " I got bored. So I couldn't finish it. Will probably pick up another Sherlock novel some other time but this one isn't for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice Doherty | 11/1/2013

    " I thought this was an excellent book! Although, I hated the chapters that introduced Jefferson Hope in America and all the mormonism. I practically skim read them and eagerly waited for a return to the present. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pratik Pantode | 10/30/2013

    " It establishes the character of SH in a good way. Clear and concise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Niko | 10/29/2013

    " A wonderful debut of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. I'm impressed by holmes' unparalleled knowledge in the science of deduction and of criminal justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chaundra | 10/8/2013

    " The first of the Sherlock Holmes stories and my first retreading since I was thirteen. It's a bit of an odd one, what with the totally unnecessary middle bit, but still very enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zeltergiset | 9/26/2013

    " My favourite part was when Sherlock Holmes killed a dog to prove a point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Inez | 9/14/2013

    " I mean, Conan Doyle is brilliant. 'Nuff said. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 9/14/2013

    " Audio book. It was pretty interesting to learn about the origins of Dr Watson & Sherlock Holmes friendship. The part about Mormons was obviously off the mark, but overall I enjoyed the book. A lot more history of the people involved and less about solving the crime than I would have thought. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 9/5/2013

    " The way the author built a very complex crime, and to have it work in the favor of the main character's logic was just wonderful.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie Tighe | 9/5/2013

    " Three and a half stars. I liked it quite a bit, but not sure Holmes is necessarily for me. I'll probably stick to the BBC series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/11/2013

    " A great start to the series -- having always been a fan of Sherlock is was a blast to read his first adventure with Watson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheilah | 5/16/2013

    " Finally caught up after never having read Sherlock Holmes. Fun to read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lora | 5/1/2013

    " *adds to list of addictions* "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andalee | 4/3/2013

    " I love how this one especially shows Doyle's ability to switch the narrative voice. Brilliant detective narrative work and it completely switches the pace and tone in the middle of the novel. It almost seems like a new story until you understand how it fits in with the main mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miguel | 12/17/2012

    " The first... and one of the best! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie Tighe | 11/22/2012

    " Three and a half stars. I liked it quite a bit, but not sure Holmes is necessarily for me. I'll probably stick to the BBC series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 11/1/2012

    " Please see my review of the series under the main title: The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes: Strand (Magazine) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Farren | 10/20/2012

    " Enjoyable and thrilling.......and the same question how did Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery so quickly? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 10/6/2012

    " So awesome, I could not put it down. Even when the story "jumped" (I liked that story JUST as much) I still was enthralled. I don't get the naysayers on the first book. Loved it so glad I am finally getting around to this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 9/4/2012

    " I thought I had read this gripping tale before, but the further along I got the more I realized that I has most likely seen some TV interpretation long ago. Still a fascinating and riveting story. I shall keep on injecting Holmes into my reading list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patti Henger | 8/17/2012

    " I probably shouldn't rate it this low because the writing is great, I just could not get into it:-( maybe ill try the Hound of Baskerville at some point- but for now I'm putting this collection away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lenka | 7/21/2012

    " I loved this book so much and I can't believe it took me so long to discover the legend that is Sherlock Holmes. I will definitely reading more of his stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zeltergiset | 6/17/2012

    " My favourite part was when Sherlock Holmes killed a dog to prove a point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/5/2012

    " I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Conan Doyle's writing. His obvious sense of humor makes the writing interesting and compelled me to read on. After getting hooked on the BBC Sherlock, I had to see what the real deal was all about. It did not disappoint. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 4/10/2012

    " Amazing. There's a reason some classics are classics. Brilliant. Random inclusion of tons of Mormon stuff, but it was all actually pretty rad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trudy | 3/24/2012

    " This was great fun. Who knew that Arthur Conan Doyle would write about the Mormans? A wonderful surprise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timothy Dorr | 3/20/2012

    " Getting started with the Sherlock canon. Kind of a weird turn to focus half the book on the backstory of a character, but it was a fun read overall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 2/5/2012

    " I found the "mormon intelude" quite odd, but then again, considering the time it was written, I doesn't seem out of place. A good place for new sherlockians to start and also a nice place for old sherlockians to come back to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noramof | 1/12/2012

    " I struggled a little bit with the language and that kind of killed some of the joy of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 12/21/2011

    " Much better than I thought it would be. To be honest, I think the fact that I saw the movie helped. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ganesh | 12/20/2011

    " Kudos to the great Doyle who had created this masterpiece!! Sherlock's style of seeing the crimes & his profound reasoning is simply excellent. The second part was equally grasping even though Holmes was not involved. I'm sure, most of us would give a second read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruslan | 10/12/2011

    " This was fabulous and ravishing novel. As I started reading it I couldn't get my eyes off the book. I'm really glad that I finally took some hours to read it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diede | 10/3/2011

    " Really enjoyed it - especially because of the BBC Sherlock Holmes series. I love how extensively the books go into the background story, although it is a shame that you can't really guess the 'whodunnit'. But that is just the way Doyle writes them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patti Henger | 9/22/2011

    " I probably shouldn't rate it this low because the writing is great, I just could not get into it:-( maybe ill try the Hound of Baskerville at some point- but for now I'm putting this collection away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neyly | 9/21/2011

    " A good introduction to Sherlock Holmes: not too long but long enough. Like Dr. Watson, I find Holmes and his science of deduction intriguing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suketa Faulkner | 8/10/2011

    " Loved this book!!!! Can't wait to read more "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anncar77 | 7/31/2011

    " Loved the first half. Not quite sure why Sir ACD slowed down the second half SO much. Surprising so much was set in the U.S. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cortney Jean | 7/29/2011

    " Although I love Sherlock Holmes, this story on its own was not fantastic to me. It's a nice introduction to Sherlock Holmes, but beyond that it's not a great mystery and isn't reader-solvable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 7/25/2011

    " Shorter than I expected, and with a lengthy diversion right in the middle... this was the fussiest and least-pleaseing of Doyle's Sherlock tales. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yelz | 6/29/2011

    " "Populus me sibilat,at mihi plaudo ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplar in arca." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adara B. | 5/24/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book, but about halfway through the book, it took a wierd turn into Morman history. But otherwise an awesome book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat | 5/22/2011

    " don't think i can add to the feverish fan base on this one-- super enjoyable. love that ACD was an MD. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 5/19/2011

    " I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid, but that was from movies and TV series. I had never read any of the books, until now. While not literary, this is a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Prashansa | 5/16/2011

    " Well the 1st two chapters were boring as they were just an introduction about Sherlock Holmes but dude, the rest of the book rocks. Holmes is so clever, must say. The starting of Part-2 was boring but then it became good. For other details -Read the Book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 5/11/2011

    " It was a great book! I couldn't put it down. The mystery was so interesting. Also I love how Holmes reveals himself after a while. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 5/10/2011

    " I love the anti-Mormon sentiment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 4/28/2011

    " Very interesting read, it is impressive how much of Sherlock Holmes is established in his first appearance. The digression into the ways of the Mormons is fascinating if odd, though vital to the story. "

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About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was born of Irish parentage in Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but he also had a passion for storytelling. His first book introduced that prototype of the modern detective in fiction, Sherlock Holmes. Despite the immense popularity Holmes gained throughout the world, Doyle was not overly fond of the character and preferred to write other stories. Eventually popular demand won out and he continued to satisfy readers with the adventures of the legendary sleuth. He also wrote historical romances and made two essays into pseudoscientific fantasy: The Lost World and The Poison Belt.