A Study in Scarlet
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—the book that introduced Sherlock Holmes to the world. Available as a mobi download from our library
The story begins in 1881, where Dr. Watson runs into an old friend, Stamford. Due to a leg injury sustained in the Anglo-Afghan War, Watson was forced to retire and is now looking for a place to live. Stamford mentions that an acquaintance of his, one Sherlock Holmes, is looking for someone to split the rent at a flat at 221B, Baker Street, but cautions about Holmes' eccentricities.
Stamford takes Watson to the local hospital's lab where they find Holmes experimenting with a reagent for haemoglobin detection. Holmes explains its significance in convicting criminals based on bloodstains. Then, upon shaking Watson's hand, deduces that the Dr. has seen military action but waves off the question of how he knows. Watson broaches the subject of their mutual flat-mate search. At Holmes' prompting, the two review their various shortcomings to make sure that they can accept living together.
After seeing the rooms at 221B, they move in and grow accustomed to their new situation.
Watson is amazed by Holmes, who has profound knowledge of chemistry and sensational literature, very precise but narrow knowledge of geology and botany; yet knows little about literature, astronomy, philosophy, and politics. Holmes also has multiple guests visiting him at different intervals during the day.
"There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."
— A Study in Scarlet Chapter 4: "What John Rance Had to Tell"