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Summary

Originally named A Tangled Skein, this is the first Sherlock Holmes story. The real strength and the unique quality of the novel lies in the introduction of Holmes and Watson to each other - and those dark early scenes when a corpse is discovered in a derelict house in southeast London. The ultimate crusader against crime and criminals, Holmes' genius is revealed here for the very first time.
Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about A Study in Scarlet

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Brilliant

You know Sherlock Holmes. You've seen adaptations on TV, you know his stories. But, listening/reading the books is just wonderful. By reading, you gain a deeper understanding of Holmes, of Watson, of Victorian England and Derek Jacobi is an amazing narrator. He is perfect for the job. Also, by reading some of the books you get the added bonus of the second part of the story which gives you the background to the current case. So even though you may be familiar with the stories, have a listen and instead of being preoccupied with 'who done it' (cos you probably know already), enjoy the journey and allow Holmes to lead you there in his own unique way.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A study in Sherlock

Having been bored by other audiobooks in the past, I was unsure how Sherlock Holmes would fare. I need not have worried, in the capable voice of Derek Jacobi you find a well modulated voice, with none of the sleep inducing drone of other narrators, and a subtle touch with character voices that doesn't descend into characature. If you want Sherlock on audio it has to be Jacobi.

3 people found this helpful

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Derek Jacobi is simply godlike.

No matter how much you try to remember that he is doing the narration, you won't. Every single character is distinct and fully formed. It's like a full cast performance.

2 people found this helpful

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Inimitable Holmes

Study in Scarlet is the introduction of Sherlock Holmes to his public. It’s a great story of two halves .. the emotive American drama and the analytical more prosaic English sequel. I don’t recall Holmes being portrayed quite as self promoting or as arrogant in any other long or short story and if my memory serves, Conan Doyle manages to insert the most Latin phrases; but it does in many ways, set the scene, both for character and the “method”. There are no half measures for the collection of Holmes’ ... if you read one, you are expected to read them all, and more than once in a lifetime.
I found Derrick Jacobi authentic, though perhaps a little stiff as narrator , and Stephen Fry has pretty well claimed this spot.

1 person found this helpful

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The Beginning of it All

If you could sum up A Study in Scarlet in three words, what would they be?

Meeting, Murder, Investigation

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Study in Scarlet?

There so many, it's difficult to pick one.

What about Derek Jacobi’s performance did you like?

He was just so natural and brought every character to life.

Any additional comments?

I remember reading this one years ago and especially The Adventures of Sherlock Homes, which was my first foray into this amazing character. This is the best book to start with, as it tells of how Watson and Holmes met, began to live together and Watson's first experience of assisting him in a myrder investigation.

It can often be so easy to laugh at the blunders the police make, but that's really because we often know the stories. Gregson and Lestrade certainly make blunders in this book and especially Gregson in his arrest of the wrong person. However, we must look at it from the point of view of the police. Gregson's arrest was understandable at the time, but Holmes, although he wins in the end, doesn't sneer at the police, in fact, before the criminal is revealed, he assures Gregson and Lestrade that he is fully prepared to take responsibility if he messes up. But you do feel for the police as they get more frustrated. They want their man, which is natural.

This is an excellent book and if you haven't tried Sherlock Holmes, I urge you to begin.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb narration

A very unusual structure to the story in that a major part did not centre on Holmes himself.
Derek Jacobi is a superb narrator and I follow his work more than the various authors. He ranks highly, alongside Timothy West

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Great adaptation of a classic novel

Great performance by Derek Jacobi. Really enjoyed it - range of voices, performance and storyline.

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Excellent

Really excellent version of this Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes story and Derek Jacobi is great

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A mistake to confound strangeness with mystery

I first read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, short and the novellas, over half a century ago. At least, all but one. And it was this, A Study in Scarlet, the first book where Watson meets Holmes and begins his chronicles of the investigations. Seeing the audio, read by Derek Jacobi and available for free with Audible +, how could I resist?

The narration, as anticipated, was excellent, and the first half of the story also as. Watson introduces himself, Holmes with his basic ideas, two incompetent detectives and, of course, the crime and the killer. But then, without further explanation, the sudden change of scenery and mood made me wonder if I had drifted into a different book...

It was his first Holmes case and still fun.
Glad I read it.

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a true classic

sherlock is well known for a reason. this is a true classic. though the narration is not great, but not bad either. the narrator's voice is good, but its difficult to know whoch character is talking at times

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  • Felicia J
  • 04-11-13

The result of all our study in scarlet ...

"That's the result of all our study in scarlet: to get them a testimonial!"

I've long wanted to experience all of the Sherlock Holmes stories in publication order. When I found a set on Audible narrated by the wonderful British stage actor Derek Jacobi, I could not resist downloading the first two novellas: "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of the Four." I very much enjoyed Jacobi's characterizations, especially of Holmes, Watson and the befuddled Scotland Yard inspectors, Gregson and Lestrade. (His American accents in the story's second half, however, were sometimes painfully awkward.)

"A Study in Scarlet" introduces the famous partnership of Dr. John Watson and Mr. Sherlock Holmes ("You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive") as well as the brilliant Holmes's methods of observation and deduction. In the first half of the tale, Holmes tracks down and apprehends a murderer bent on chilling revenge. The story's second half relates what happened decades before in Utah to set this determined man on his murderous path.

Although others have found the shift from Watson's first-person narration to the third-person flashback to be jarring, both narrative threads held my interest. The crime and its solution were put together cleverly and logically, although this is not a fair-play mystery readers can solve for themselves. The denouement was a bit too quick for my tastes; I don't believe Doyle left any loose threads dangling, but I would have appreciated a more fleshed-out ending to balance the long flashback detailing the killer's motive.

The best part of the story was glimpsing the beginning of the friendship between Holmes and Watson, which would soon captivate the reading public. This was a very enjoyable weekend listen, and I've already queued up "The Sign of the Four" for my next listen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • L. Poirier
  • 14-12-12

Excellent as expected.

Where does A Study in Scarlet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Upper level.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I'd read the story a while ago.

What about Derek Jacobi’s performance did you like?

Everything. The man is talented.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listen during my commute. There were times I sat in the driveway until a section ended, but I've read it before, so no, not all in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Jacobi and Holmes. Perfect combination.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Zeno
  • 09-10-20

What's not to love? Holmes and Jacobi!

I must have read this story a bunch of times - never listened to it before this. It was quite a joy with Derek Jacobi regaling me with his voice and craft.

There's a wonderful shift in "A Study in Scarlet" - one that transports you into another world and time and I had not remembered it as vividly from previous readings. The first part of the story is a pleasure in itself, as it gives you the Watson/Holmes friendship origin story - how they met, how Watson first learns about Holmes' many sleuthing talents. It's a story of murder and it unfolds as one expects from a Sherlock Holmes story ... but then the second part kicks in and suddenly, Holmes and Watson are out of the picture, gone.

Part two regales you with a marvelous tale set in pre-statehood Nevada and Utah, a time when the Mormons fled to find a home and eventually settled and built Salt Lake City. It's a powerful story about a man and a child, about being found and saved by the Mormons - about the Mormon way of life and the more sinister side of it all, with the infamous Destroying Angels, with Brigham Young himself showing up as threat personified, with a lovers' escape, murder and the the birth of revenge ... which then leads us back to London where it all comes together ... but, trust me, that part two really is quite wonderful in the way it is such a complete shift into another world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy
  • 02-01-12

Great Listen!

What made the experience of listening to A Study in Scarlet the most enjoyable?

Derek Jacobi's voices and tone are superb.

What did you like best about this story?

The best part of this story is the story, of course. I love Conan Doyle.

What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The different voices and tones in his voice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C.J.
  • 16-10-20

Wonderful Narration

I've read the book and have listened to many enjoyable audio versions, but this is the first version to do justice to the American accents within the story.
a highly enjoyable listen!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aline Leal
  • 12-10-20

Good

It's a very good story, although the first half of the second part made me a little sleepy.
The perfomance of the narrator it's perfect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-02-17

Love This Narrator!

Derek Jacobi is brilliant! His interpretation of Holmes & Watson is spot on. The characters come to life when he reads & you forget that it is just one person reading & not a diverse cast.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barb Meade
  • 02-08-22

Good book

I enjoyed this book. The mysteries of Sherlock homes is on Spotify and they say the name of the detective lastrad differently that was the only downside of my experience.

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  • Joseph Galieti
  • 22-05-22

Conan Doyle was brilliant

Great book, I had never heard this story in more than 30 hours of listening to his work. It wasn’t merely free…it was priceless. Enjoy!

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  • ElleBee
  • 28-04-22

Not my favorite - I didn't like the Morman parts

Not my favorite Sherlock Holmes story. I was so confused when part 2 started, I felt like a whole new book was beginning and I was so lost because the last story hadn't finished yet. I didn't like hearing about the Mormons and their 6, 7, 8 wives, and young girls being forced to marry gray-haired old men. I wanted to hear a Sherlock Holmes mystery, so that part was more than what I signed up for or wanted to hear about. But the parts that did include Sherlock Holmes were good. But overall, I like the Hound of the Baskervilles story way more!!