Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Beginnings: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

TWITTER: If you are on Twitter, please tweet a link to your post using the has tag #BookBeginnings. My Twitter handle is @GilionDumas.

MR. LINKY: Please leave a link to your post below. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.


To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. 
 - from "A Scandal in Bohemia," the first story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

That is a catchy start for any story. But given the eminence of this particular story in Doyle's oeuvre, and the significance of "the woman" to Sherlock Holmes, it is worth reading a fuller opening passage:

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. 

Yes, it is the introduction of Irene Adler! I think she plays a greater role in movie adaptations and spin offs than in the books, but she still looms large in the collective recollection of Sherlock Holmes' world.  

I started reading all the Sherlock Holmes book in order last year.  This is the third volume and I like the stories a lot.  But this is the book I have on my iPhone kindle app, which means it is my emergency book for when I get stuck waiting in line, or need something to read while grabbing a quick bite to eat. So I've been reading these stories for months and months. I may have to grab the book-book off my shelf and finish it off. 


  1. I read The Sign of Four earlier this year and though I'd like to read more of the Sherlock Holmes books. It's a good idea to read them in order. When I finish my latest book - Ian Rankin's new Rebus book (see my Book Beginnings post) I hope to get round to them all! I've also recently new Anthony Horowitz's book - The House of Silk, the 'new' Sherlock Holmes Novel - that's very good and manages to capture the style and spirit of Holmes and Watson.

  2. I'd love to read the Sherlock Holmes books. I have an omnibus edition in my TBR pile...maybe I'll get one done for the Classic Club challenge.
    Your opening line is certainly a good teaser !!

  3. I read all Sherlock Holmes books in school and I know that, one day, I'll read them again. I loved them!

    Thanks for sharing and hosting BBF once again :D

  4. Great beginning. I love reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. What I like about them is that they don't seem to have aged too much over the years and I just love the way the stories develop.

  5. I had forgotten when Irene Adler was first mentioned. Thanks for reminding me.

  6. Sounds exciting! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I must confess that I haven't read the Sherlock Holmes books, and I don't know why! I've loved the PBS series starring Jeremy Brett, and I'm sure the books are wonderful. Thanks for the reminder to read them.

  8. I'm still not in the mindset to read any Sherlock Holmes...not sure why. I do like the beginning though.

  9. Hi Gilion,

    I read a few of the 'Sherlock' books, but along time ago and in a very random order.

    'Sherlock Holmes' is a series that I think I prefer watch and I have seen many different film and television adaptations over the years and never tire of them.

    Thanks for sharing those lines and for hosting.


  10. From what I remember she's an interesting Character and it's a brilliant book. But I also think she has a very big effect on Holme's psyche.

  11. That's an amazing beginning! I'm going to have to check out the book.

  12. I have read a couple of Sherlock Holmes story, but not this one. Sounds really good!

  13. Love Sherlock Holmes! Great Book Beginning. I'm a little late to the party, but I've got mine up.

  14. Love Sherlock Holmes. But why haven't I read aything ?

  15. Love Sherlock Holmes! Great beginning to THE woman.


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