First published 1891 in The Strand magazine, A Scandal in Bohemia was the first Holmes short story to appear and is the first story in the first collection, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
What’s It About?
When the recently-married Watson pops round to see his old friend, by coincidence Holmes is expecting another visitor. One Irene Adler has something that the King of Bohemia is desperate to acquire and only Sherlock Holmes can be trusted to retrieve it.
Is It A Mystery?
Sort of, although not a traditional one. The reader is presented with the puzzle of how Holmes is going to persuade “the woman” to reveal her secret hiding place – something that was lifted entirely in the corresponding episode of Sherlock, A Scandal In Belgravia.
Is It Any Good?
It’s not a favourite of mine. It’s a very atypical Holmes adventure and has at least once put me off reading the collection of stories. In fact, it’s the reason why I’m doing these Sherlockian Shorts in a random order.
It’s a little odd to me that so much attention is given to Adler. She does get a few name-checks elsewhere in the stories – A Case Of Identity, The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle and His Last Bow – but it’s all a bit minor really. It’s a little politically incorrect that Holmes admires her because she’s a WOMAN who has outwitted him – sort of.
NB For the full index of my Sherlockian Shorts, please follow this link.