First published in 1887, A Study in Scarlet is Arthur Conan Doyle’s first work to feature the now-famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner and diarist Dr. John Watson. The character of Sherlock Holmes was likely inspired by Conan Doyle’s medical school professor, Dr. Joseph Bell, who possessed keen abilities in observation, logic, and deduction. Since neither this novel nor Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of Four (1890), were as successful as Conan Doyle had hoped, he switched to the short story format in 1891. This led to an explotion in the popularity of the Holmes detective stories that continues to the present day.


See a complete list of the characters in A Study in Scarlet.


Find important quotes from A Study in Scarlet.


Go to to get your copy of these helpful resources.