Short Story Review - A Scandal in Bohemia

Sunday 21 July 2019

A Scandal in Bohemia
Image result for sherlock holmes 
Who wrote it?
This is a story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For a full biography of Conan Doyle, try this link: In short, he was born in Edinburgh and studied medicine at university prior to pursuing his career as a writer. Aside from meeting writers such as James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson, he also met Dr Joseph Bell. Bell was a master of observation, logic, deduction and diagnosis. As you’ve probably guessed, Bell was the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s greatest creation: Sherlock Holmes.

What’s it about?
This is a Sherlock Holmes story, therefore it’s safe to describe it as a mystery story. Holmes is employed to retrieve some compromising photographs held by Irene Adler. Holmes’s client worries that Adler might use the photographs as a blackmail tool.   

Why is it worth reading?
All of the Sherlock Holmes stories are worth reading. Dr John Watson makes for an excellent narrator and Holmes is the sort of know-it-all that we love to read about, but we would probably hate in real life. This story is particularly engaging because Holmes’s unparalleled genius is pitted against a woman who shares his brand of cunning.

What’s so special about it?
These are the opening lines:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a lover he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer -- excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained teasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.

 If you fancy hearing this one narrated, it’s available on this YouTube link: 

If you want to pick up your own copy, this is where you can buy it on Amazon: 

And, if you have dreams to write to this standard, please take a look at my book, How To Write Short Stories and Get Them Published:


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