Sherlockian Shorts – A Scandal In Bohemia

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.

Anything Else?

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.


  1. This is not a favourite of mine also.
    My top 10 stories are (in an arbitrary order):
    The Speckled Band (a locked room mystery !)
    The Copper Beeches
    The Red-Headed League
    The Naval Treaty
    The Crooked Man
    The Norwood Builder
    The Dancing Men
    The Solitary Cyclist
    The Sussex Vampire
    The Creeping Man


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