Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Scandal in Bohemia – a Sherlock Holmes short story

A Scandal in Bohemia – by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle                                              A Sherlock Holmes short story

A Scandal in Bohemia is part of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection. Although it is the third Sherlock Holmes story published, and the first short story – it is It is Holmes ninth case chronologically. Doyle ranked it as his fifth favorite Sherlock Holmes story.

I think that may have something to do with the introduction of Irene Adler – a recurring foil of Sherlock’s. It marks the first time Holmes is outwitted.

 (illustration by Sidney Paget)

Oh, he still solves the case, and his client, the King of Bohemia no less [pictured], is satisfied with the result, but Adler eludes Holmes. Holmes, considers himself a master of disguise – and indeed by most accounts is, but Adler – an actress by trade, is not fooled when Holmes engages with her incognito. She even manages to play him, which was particularly delightful, because later, Holmes smugly laughs at the foolish Adler when he recounts the interaction to Watson. In the end, Adler sends Holmes a playful letter, teasing him gently for his gullibility, and thus begins the complex and entertaining relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler.

I can see why Doyle liked it. It was quite fun.


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