“A Study in Scarlet”

Note: the tab marked "Explanation" reveals the ending of the story. Do not view that if you are reading the story for the first time and do not want to spoil your enjoyment.
Title: A Study in Scarlet Collection: The Novels
Year published: 1887 (November) Year set in:
Mystery: Who killed the man in the house, how and why?
Apparent crime: Murder Actual crime: Shown below (possible spoiler)
Summary: A body is found in an empty house with no obvious cause of death and the word "Rache" written on the wall.

Inspector Gregson asks Holmes to assist them with a murder. A body has been found in an empty house in London with no apparent cause of death and the word "Rache" written upon the wall in blood.

Gregson and Lestrade each form their own explanations for the murder while Holmes quickly deduces what happened in the house and the appearance of the murderer.

Actual crime
Explanation (spoiler alert)

"Rache" is the German for "revenge" but was a red herring (though apt). Both Enoch Drebber (the body) and his companion (Joseph Stangerson) were killed by Jefferson Hope in revenge for the murder of John Ferrier and the forced marriage of Lucy Ferrier. The killer was Jefferson Hope who had loved Lucy.

Quotations in this story (3)
"Dr Watson, Mr Sherlock Holmes," said Stamford, introducing us.
"No data yet," he answered. "It is a capital mistake to theorise before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgement."
"The most commonplace crime is often the most mysterious because it presents no new or special features from which deductions may be drawn."

Characters in this story (14)
Surname First name Title
Charpentier Arthur Sub-lieutenant
Drebber Enoch
Ferrier John
Ferrier Lucy
Gregson Tobias Inspector
Holmes Sherlock
Hope Jefferson
Lestrade Inspector
Rance John Police Constable
Stangerson Joseph
Watson John Doctor
Wiggins Baker Street Irregular
Young Brigham

Locations in this story (3)
Location Town/City County
221b Baker Street London
3 Lauriston Gardens London
Salt Lake City Salt Lake City Utah

Other notes

The very first of the canon which introduces Watson to Holmes.


Stamford Criterion Barts Afghanistan Lestrade Gregson Dupin Lauriston Gardens Enoch Drebber Joseph Stangerson rache John Rance gold ring Brixton Arthur Charpentier Wiggins Alice Halliday Jefferson Hope America Utah Mormons Ferrier Lucy Joseph Salt Lake prophet Elder Brigham Young Avenging Angels