Rating : 3 / 5
The story starts like how your usual Holmes story would–except of course, as this is the first Holmes story Doyle penned, it’s more prudent to say that this is how the next dozen or so stories will start. A case is brought to Holmes with Dr. Watson in the room, and Sherlock invites Dr. Watson to accompany him in the case.
This first novel sets the meeting and living arrangement of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and settles the preliminaries of what both do as a living and their characteristics. This novel also shows the nature of Holmes’ relationship with Scotland Yard.
Sherlock asks Dr. Watson to come with him on a murder investigation of a man found in an abandoned house. Sherlock follows his own trail of clues and we are given more scenarios and clues as the story progresses. Sherlock solves the mystery and apprehends the culprit at the middle of the book. This is where the book gets boring. In order to show the motives and reason for the murders (the case progressed to two victims somewhere along the way), the book restarts (Part II) into the early days of the Mormons, their practice of polygamy, forbidden romance, violence, and so on. The last chapter goes back to the present day.
Thankfully, this storytelling format is only used by the author once in another story and Doyle leaves it in favor of only using the first part (receiving a case, a bit of investigation, and concludes with Sherlock’s explanation)-no more random narratives-only.