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A Scandal in Bohemia (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #1)

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Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to recover blackmail evidence, held by the woman whom the king once promised to marry, but who he abandoned for a woman of noble birth.


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Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to recover blackmail evidence, held by the woman whom the king once promised to marry, but who he abandoned for a woman of noble birth.

30 review for A Scandal in Bohemia (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.” So begins the very first story in the very first collection of stories about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective with a phenomenal brain, Sherlock Holmes. A Scandal in Bohemia was originally published in "The Strand Magazine" in 1891, and altogether Arthur Conan Doyle ended up writing 56 short stories about his most popular invented character. It was not the world's introduction to the “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.” So begins the very first story in the very first collection of stories about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective with a phenomenal brain, Sherlock Holmes. A Scandal in Bohemia was originally published in "The Strand Magazine" in 1891, and altogether Arthur Conan Doyle ended up writing 56 short stories about his most popular invented character. It was not the world's introduction to the great detective however, as it had been preceded by two of the four Sherlock Holmes novels – "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of Four". So although we tend to think of this as our first introduction to Sherlock Holmes, it is not. That honour lies with "A Study in Scarlet". We now usually read A Scandal in Bohemia as the first in the collection entitled, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". The story begins whilst Dr. Watson is visiting Holmes, and the two are exchanging banter. A mysterious visitor arrives, introducing himself as Count Von Kramm, "a Bohemian nobleman" who claims to be acting for a wealthy client. However, the reader soon learns the measure of Holmes, as he quickly deduces that the visitor is not all that he seems. He is none other than Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein, and is the hereditary King of Bohemia. Realising the impossiblility of denying his true identity, the King reveals his face and tells the pair his problem. He is to become engaged to Clotilde Lothman von Saxe-Meiningen, a young Scandinavian princess. However, five years previously he had been involved with an American opera singer, Irene Adler, who now lives in London. He was now trying to recover certain letters and an incriminating photograph of the pair of them, which he had sent to her during their relationship. He had tried everything in his power, but Irene Adler refused to return them. The King says that he "would give one of [his] provinces" to have the photograph back", and Sherlock Holmes is intrigued enough to take on the case with the assistance of his friends, Dr. Watson. The tongue-in-cheek dialogue between the two sparring partners is very enjoyable, “By the way, Doctor, I shall want your cooperation.' 'I shall be delighted.' 'You don't mind breaking the law?' 'Not in the least.' 'Nor running a chance of arrest?' 'Not in a good cause.' 'Oh, the cause is excellent!' 'Then I am your man.' 'I was sure that I might rely on you.” Conan Doyle of course invented the names of these royal personages, which seem so much of a mouthful. Interestingly though, he placed his fictional dynasty in a real country, Bohemia, whose Austrian Emperor bore the title the "King of Bohemia". There was however no such place as the "Kingdom of Scandinavia". How Sherlock Holmes sets about solving the problem is ingenious, and sets the standard for the stories which follow, some of which are even better in my view. The plot is fast-paced, involving trickery, more than one marriage, secrets and subterfuge, a smokescreen, a street brawl, an exciting chase scene, and the use of the modern railway system. We learn much about Sherlock Holmes's unique combination of arrogance, sensitivity, and sense of humour (even though sometimes it may seem misplaced). There is a double impersonation, by which we learn that he is a master of disguise and acting, and we learn that he has much respect both for his friend and colleague Doctor John Watson, and also for a strong proud woman, who has no malice but much intelligence. Arthur Conan Doyle himself ranked A Scandal in Bohemia fifth in his list of his twelve favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. It is memorable for introducing the character of Irene Adler, the only woman who ever managed to outwit the detective. Since it is one of the first occasions we meet Sherlock Holmes, it is remarkable how quickly it conveys his character in one short story. We observe his brilliance in deducing the problem and identifying the king in the first place. We also note his arrogance and witty waspish comments. For instance when the King enthusiastically expostulates, "Would she not have made an admirable queen? Is it not a pity she was not on my level?" Holmes replies scathingly that Miss Adler is indeed on a very different level from the King. And we see ... or perhaps a better word would be "observe" ... (for in Sherlock Holmes's own words, sometimes, “You see, but you do not observe”) that he has a soft centre after all, by his sentiment in wanting to keep the photograph of Irene Adler in preference to a far greater monetary reward. “And that was how a great scandal threatened to affect the kingdom of Bohemia, and how the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman’s wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler, or when he refers to her photograph, it is always under the honourable title of the woman.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." I'm gradually making my way through the Sherlock Holmes stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which you can download free here at Gutenberg.org. This one is the story of The Woman. 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. ... And ye “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." I'm gradually making my way through the Sherlock Holmes stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which you can download free here at Gutenberg.org. This one is the story of The Woman. 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. ... And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory. A Bohemian nobleman, half-heartedly in disguise (note the highly effective half-mask) until Sherlock, bored, informs him that he knows who he is, hires Sherlock to help him with a scorned woman who has vengeance on her mind, now that he's dumped her (because she's not of the nobility) and plans to marry a nice, straitlaced blueblooded girl. Unfortunately for the guy, she has a picture of them together, along with letters and other evidence of their illicit relationship that will surely ruin his marriage plans. So Sherlock is hired to steal the incriminating photograph. I don't want to say a lot more, because it's short and easily spoiled. It's a pretty straightforward Sherlock Holmes case, made memorable by the woman Sherlock goes up against. Despite his disdain for women generally, he's impressed ... and, to his credit, not at all impressed with the nobleman who left her. There's some great dialogue between the characters, like the nobleman and Sherlock's discussion of why this woman's evidence can't be dismissed as fake, and this interchange between Sherlock and Dr. Watson:"By the way, Doctor, I shall want your co-operation.” “I shall be delighted.” “You don’t mind breaking the law?” “Not in the least.” “Nor running a chance of arrest?” “Not in a good cause.” “Oh, the cause is excellent!” “Then I am your man.” Bonus material: When I Googled to find out what a "cabinet" photograph is, I found this tremendously helpful page on a Stanford Univ. website, explaining not only that term but many others in the story that may not be familiar to modern readers. Next up: The Red Headed League.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Buggy

    Opening line: “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.” Well this was a surprise; the classics and especially mysteries are not my usual fare but due to my recent obsession with the BBC series Sherlock (How yummy is Benedict Cumberbatch) and then watching Downey and Jude Law in the movie Game Of Shadows I realized that I had never actually read any of Conan Doyle’s stories Opening line: “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.” Well this was a surprise; the classics and especially mysteries are not my usual fare but due to my recent obsession with the BBC series Sherlock (How yummy is Benedict Cumberbatch) and then watching Downey and Jude Law in the movie Game Of Shadows I realized that I had never actually read any of Conan Doyle’s stories. After some research trying to figure out where to begin, I eventually bought The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes and settled on this story. And wow, I didn’t expect to enjoy this half as much as I did (or at all for that matter) but I guess this is why Sherlock Holmes is still relatable today. I’d initially expected to have to put in considerable effort just to get through this, I mean it was written in 1892 so it was bound to be very, well literary. You know all formal and tedious. In fact I’d anticipated needing a dictionary just to be able to understand what the characters were talking about, but to my surprise A Scandal In Bohemia turned out to be an absolute delight to read. The actual story is quite basic yet also filled with complexities and hidden meanings and I would also have to call this a romance -of sorts. It’s also funny, relevant, cunning, witty, romantic and ultimately sad. What a great introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes. Told from Dr. Watsons POV (now that I didn’t know -I’d just assumed these were Sherlock’s stories.) We begin with Watson “dropping by” Baker Street to visit Holmes. He hasn’t been by his old residence or seen Holmes of late due to his recent marriage and the two have drifted apart. I guess you could say he feels nervous about visiting because he never really knows what state Holmes will be in; elated, depressed, manic, high on opium or cocaine or in some clever disguise? It’s always a bit of a crap shoot. In any case he appears happy today and also excited due to the prospect of a new and exciting case. Sherlock then asks if Watson will assist him; “I shall be delighted” “You don’t mind breaking the law?” “Not in the least.” “Nor running a chance of arrest?” “Not in good cause.” “Oh the cause is excellent.” “Then I am your man.” “I was sure that I could rely on you.” The client turns out to be the King of Bohemia; he requires Holmes’ assistance in obtaining an incriminating photograph of himself and one Irene Adler before he marries. It seems this past affair would ruin him because of her “station.” So far the King has tried unsuccessfully to buy it (she won’t sell) to bribe her servants and finally even to steal it but Ms. Adler is always one step ahead. Holmes dons several disguises throughout his case, first as a groomsman to gain access to Adler’s property and spy on her and then later as an (injured) clergyman. Irene Adler is a fantastic character, gaining the upper hand and in the end even outsmarting Holmes. I suppose it’s her cleverness that causes Holmes to fall for her and why in the end she becomes known only as the woman. Cheers 305jb5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." I'm gradually making my way through the Sherlock Holmes stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which you can download free here at Gutenberg.org. This one is the story of The Woman. 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. ... And ye “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." I'm gradually making my way through the Sherlock Holmes stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which you can download free here at Gutenberg.org. This one is the story of The Woman. 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. ... And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory. A Bohemian nobleman, half-heartedly in disguise (note the highly effective half-mask) until Sherlock, bored, informs him that he knows who he is, hires Sherlock to help him with a scorned woman who has vengeance on her mind, now that he's dumped her (because she's not of the nobility) and plans to marry a nice, straitlaced blueblooded girl. Unfortunately for the guy, she has a picture of them together, along with letters and other evidence of their illicit relationship that will surely ruin his marriage plans. So Sherlock is hired to steal the incriminating photograph. I don't want to say a lot more, because it's short and easily spoiled. It's a pretty straightforward Sherlock Holmes case, made memorable by the woman Sherlock goes up against. Despite his disdain for women generally, he's impressed ... and, to his credit, not at all impressed with the nobleman who left her. There's some great dialogue between the characters, like the nobleman and Sherlock's discussion of why this woman's evidence can't be dismissed as fake, and this interchange between Sherlock and Dr. Watson:"By the way, Doctor, I shall want your co-operation.” “I shall be delighted.” “You don’t mind breaking the law?” “Not in the least.” “Nor running a chance of arrest?” “Not in a good cause.” “Oh, the cause is excellent!” “Then I am your man.” Bonus material: When I Googled to find out what a "cabinet" photograph is, I found this tremendously helpful page on a Stanford Univ. website, explaining not only that term but many others in the story that may not be familiar to modern readers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tuqa

    Although I heard about sherlock holmes too much, but this is my first read about him. The story was about a king who asked help from sherlock and his friend to protect his reputation, and to prevent a scandal from happening. honestly I expected that I'll be amazed by Sherlock's intelligence, but the roles were reversed. anyway, it was a good story, worth reading, I enjoyed it and I finished it with pleasure.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    More like 3.5/5 S*T*A*R*S really. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime. It seems to me that Mr. Holmes is an exceptional crime investigator. And more than that. He's a character I'll be most delighted to make an acquaintance with. It's clear that the skills he displays in this book are only basic to his character, it feels like there's more. For this investigative episode, Mr. Holmes is contacted by a sketchy characte More like 3.5/5 S*T*A*R*S really. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime. It seems to me that Mr. Holmes is an exceptional crime investigator. And more than that. He's a character I'll be most delighted to make an acquaintance with. It's clear that the skills he displays in this book are only basic to his character, it feels like there's more. For this investigative episode, Mr. Holmes is contacted by a sketchy character in a mask who turns out to be a king, and is presented with a case which requires the utmost discretion and confidentiality. One which threatens to cause what will be a great Scandal in Bohemia. ▶ AND WHAT DO I THINK? This was a good introduction to the world of Holmes. A light one. One thing's for sure. Mr. Holmes does deserve a place in the list of greatest mentions. The thing is, I don't know, I guess I was expecting more. More complexity? more mystery? I don't know. Just more. But I take into account that this is the first book in the series - at least I think it is. Please correct me if I'm wrong - and it can only get better. So I do believe it's going to build into a series I'll come to love. Because yes, I will be reading the rest of the Sherlock Holmes books. Slowly but surely. I might even finish them before half of the year runs out. Is that possible? I mean, I actually don't know how many books there are, exactly, so I might just be putting my foot in my mouth(haha. Foot. In. Mouth. Get it? You don't? **looks frustratingly puzzled** Well it's supposed to be funny, really.) I really like Watson, Holmes' dear, dear friend. And from what I foresee - and this is all conjecture now - he's going to be a steadfast and loyal sidekick. What's really great is they seem to have a great and adhering friendship between them. That's more reason to read more of Holmes' investigative adventures. It promises to be fun, entertaining, humorous and dare I say it, mysterious and investing. I just love great displays of friendship in books! Adding adventure to that, only leaves something that I could very well say will be the death of me and my academic life. I want to start watching Holmes' on Tv now, but there are school books with my name on them by my bedside table. Forgive me education. ✔ To Mr.. Sherlock Holmes: I look forward to our future encounters. And remember. And lastly, is it weird that I feel like I've made some kind of great achievement, or excelled remarkably and commendably at some enterprise? I don't know. I feel like this is a milestone, honestly. I feel elated!!! I'm going to take a picture for keeps in remembrance of this day. I really am. Say nyehhhhh I was born silly. Too sad. Recommended to me by my lovely friend, Councillor. Thank youuu!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Traveller

    This is a very interesting article with some background on Conan Doyle and Sherlock: http://www.wired.com/2015/02/health-w... I quote from the article: Wearing his now-iconic hat, clamping a pipe between his teeth, Sherlock Holmes endures as the very definition of deductive reasoning. His encyclopedic knowledge and diamond-sharp observation skills make him a larger-than-life figure that continues to fascinate audiences on both the small and big screens. Originally penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a This is a very interesting article with some background on Conan Doyle and Sherlock: http://www.wired.com/2015/02/health-w... I quote from the article: Wearing his now-iconic hat, clamping a pipe between his teeth, Sherlock Holmes endures as the very definition of deductive reasoning. His encyclopedic knowledge and diamond-sharp observation skills make him a larger-than-life figure that continues to fascinate audiences on both the small and big screens. Originally penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a physician, the character of Holmes has undergone various tweaks and changes over the years as new writers and actors have put their own spin on the famous detective. However, his ability to gather, manage and analyze many snippets of information to draw conclusions about the motives, methods and outcomes of major crimes remains constant. It is alleged that Conan Doyle found the inspiration for his most famous character in Dr. Joseph Bell, one of his medical school professors. Dr. Bell was considered an excellent diagnostician who impressed Conan Doyle with his ability to correctly “guess” professions, daily routines and medical diagnoses of patients, students and colleagues using bits of information that others might ignore or find irrelevant. --(Dr. Richard Hu, writing on Wired magazine. As for this specific adventure, it gets 5 stars because Irene Adler! I love the implications; with her, Conan Doyle surely manages to sidestep the blanket accusation of sexism that radical feminists love to sling against white Victorian males as a group. Hmm, but that said, I suppose Doyle might still not be off the hook, since some might still aver that Ms Adler is not represented as enough of a 'rounded' character? Oh well, Doyle still passes in my book. It's enough for me that she is brilliant. ;) In addition to that, I like that she makes Sherlock more human to the reader; that her character demonstrates that Sherlock can have human emotions after all.

  8. 5 out of 5

    emma

    irene adler is. a. baller. i'd rather read a series of books about her, personally.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aishu Rehman

    This is one of the the stories where we are first introduced to the only woman whom Sherlock ever recognized as being worthy of his attention; Ms. Irene Adler (aka The Woman). The story itself is told from Dr. Watson’s perspective, which I find to be a rather clever technique as it gives the readers a chance to see Sherlock’s method of reasoning as though they were working alongside him. My quarrel with this tale, as I am sure it will be with the remainder of them, is that they are rather short This is one of the the stories where we are first introduced to the only woman whom Sherlock ever recognized as being worthy of his attention; Ms. Irene Adler (aka The Woman). The story itself is told from Dr. Watson’s perspective, which I find to be a rather clever technique as it gives the readers a chance to see Sherlock’s method of reasoning as though they were working alongside him. My quarrel with this tale, as I am sure it will be with the remainder of them, is that they are rather short in length, and they are mostly told in a narrative style. This leaves little room for character development, which is the part of a story I find to be the most enjoyable; seeing how the encounters and experiences change the characters either for the better or the worse. This is only a minor set back, though. The tale itself is intriguing and suspenseful; everything you would come to expect from a mystery and crime solving novel. If you have another take on the story, or any other opinions you would like to offer, feel free to leave them in the comments. I hope this helps you in deciding whether or not this book is for you. I shall try to get through one of these stories a week, so keep an eye out. That’s all for today, and until next time, happy reading! Cheers,

  10. 5 out of 5

    Grace (BURTSBOOKS)

    why yes, yes I am counting this towards my reading challenge. if schools gonna take my time I'm making every assignment count

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Holmes done over by a bird?! Certainly the man is not at his tip-top form and neither is this story, but it's a good one, perhaps for its contemporary pathos. Holmes for once seems fallible, almost human. Not only does he slip up, he also falls for a woman. No, it's not Doyle's best bit of writing, but for the sake of posterity, it might be the best thing he ever did for his Sherlock Holmes series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Prerna

    A Scandal in Bohemia, the first story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was a splendid introduction to the tales of Sherlock Holmes to me. Nothing seems to miss the keen eye of the master of deduction, Sherlock Holmes. He, along with his companion Watson who is the narrator and also who has recently been married, take over the case of the plight of the Bohemian king. "You see but you do not observe, the distinction is clear" I found many such witty lines and good obs A Scandal in Bohemia, the first story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was a splendid introduction to the tales of Sherlock Holmes to me. Nothing seems to miss the keen eye of the master of deduction, Sherlock Holmes. He, along with his companion Watson who is the narrator and also who has recently been married, take over the case of the plight of the Bohemian king. "You see but you do not observe, the distinction is clear" I found many such witty lines and good observations while reading this book. Irene Adler is a very interesting character and almost seems to be a match to Holmes' intellegence. I loved the language and the dialogue formation in this story! It was indeed a very enriching and entertaining read. I am starting to find out why people use the phrase, "sherlocked" While I wait to finish the rest of the short stories from the book, I can't help but admire this one. Crisp, smart and amazing!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)

    I enjoyed this venture into the Sherlock stories much better than my original attempt. It was fun to read this particular story, because much of it was used in BBC's Sherlock. It felt almost familiar, yet I didn't really know how it would progress.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn Tayla

    A perfect little re read to welcome myself back into Conan Doyle's world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Niko

    A scandal in Bohemia is a short yet entertaining adventure of no other than the greatest sleuth of fiction history, Sherlock Holmes.In this case, Holmes is once again accompanied by his Boswell, partner and trusted friend, Dr. John Watson. But this time, Dr. Watson is already married to Mary Morstan allowing changes to their "flatmate" relationship in Baker street. They were approached by an anonymous masked client who turns out to be Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, the great Duke of A scandal in Bohemia is a short yet entertaining adventure of no other than the greatest sleuth of fiction history, Sherlock Holmes.In this case, Holmes is once again accompanied by his Boswell, partner and trusted friend, Dr. John Watson. But this time, Dr. Watson is already married to Mary Morstan allowing changes to their "flatmate" relationship in Baker street. They were approached by an anonymous masked client who turns out to be Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, the great Duke of Cassel-Felstein and hereditary King of Bohemia himself. He asks for the help of the two in solving and in redemption of a specific object from the hands of Irene Adler, his former liaison, on which they had failed in many attempts. At this time, the great duke is already engaged to the young scandinavian princess and he's afraid that this Adler woman might threaten him and his marriage through the certain object, a photograph of the duke and adler. Sherlock then had a plan and used his ability of disguise to enter the home of adler and find out as to where the photograph was hidden. Using Holmes' plan and Watson's helping hand, they were successful and were clever enough to locate the object yet disabling them to get it because many eyes are on them as of the moment. They are then bound in contacting the duke and telling him that they already know the location of the photo and that they're planning to have possession of it on the following day. Unfortunately, they were unable to anticipate that miss adler was already knowledgeable of their future acts as to the previous events of deception by the tandem. As the duke, holmes and watson are at the peripheral of Miss Adler, they were shocked to have been informed that Irene has set to fly to England with the photo and never to return again. Sherlock redirected to the location of the photo for assurance and found a photo of Irene Adler in a gown and a letter addressed to Holmes saying that she's already aware of their plans and that the duke has nothing to worry about for she is in love with another man and will not interfere with his marriage unless he takes any threatening action towards her. The story ends when Sherlock asked the duke to have Irene's picture in his possession as a reminder of the woman who outwitted him. To Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler is not just a woman, she is The Woman.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Crime Addict Sifat

    While the right now wedded Dr. Watson is visiting Holmes, a guest arrives, presenting himself as Count Von Kramm, an operator for a rich customer. In any case, Holmes rapidly reasons that he is in actuality Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the inherited King of Bohemia. Acknowledging Holmes has seen through his pretense, the King concedes this and detaches his cover. It unfolds that the King is to wind up noticeably drew in to Clotilde Lothman von Saxe While the right now wedded Dr. Watson is visiting Holmes, a guest arrives, presenting himself as Count Von Kramm, an operator for a rich customer. In any case, Holmes rapidly reasons that he is in actuality Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the inherited King of Bohemia. Acknowledging Holmes has seen through his pretense, the King concedes this and detaches his cover. It unfolds that the King is to wind up noticeably drew in to Clotilde Lothman von Saxe-Meiningen, a youthful Scandinavian princess. Be that as it may, five years past to the occasions of the story he had a contact with an American musical show artist, Irene Adler, while she was serving a term as diva of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, who has from that point forward resigned to London. Frightful that should the entirely principled group of his life partner learn of this shamefulness, the marriage would be canceled, he had looked to recapture letters and a photo of Adler and himself together, which he had sent to her amid their relationship as a token. The King's specialists have endeavored to recoup the photo through now and again strong means, thievery, taking her baggage, and waylaying her. An offer to pay for the photo and letters was additionally won't. With Adler debilitating to send them to his future in-laws, which Von Ormstein presumes is to avoid him wedding whatever other lady, he makes the in secret visit to Holmes to ask for his assistance in finding and acquiring the photo. “And that was how a great scandal threatened to affect the kingdom of Bohemia, and how the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman’s wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler, or when he refers to her photograph, it is always under the honourable title of the woman.” ― A Scandal in Bohemia

  17. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    "A Scandal in Bohemia" is the first story in the The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the third publication in the Sherlock Holmes series (after the first two novels, so the first story collection). The King of Bohemia hires Holmes to retrieve an incriminating photograph his ex-mistress is threatening him with. One of the absolute classics, and featuring the infamous Irene Adler. A great starting point and introduction to the Sherlock Holmes stories. "A Scandal in Bohemia" is the first story in the The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the third publication in the Sherlock Holmes series (after the first two novels, so the first story collection). The King of Bohemia hires Holmes to retrieve an incriminating photograph his ex-mistress is threatening him with. One of the absolute classics, and featuring the infamous Irene Adler. A great starting point and introduction to the Sherlock Holmes stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    My n-th reading of this evergreen classic took place just yesterday! And that has prompted this review, which is entirely redundant for such a gem. Record suggests that Holmes was practically reborn in this story, after his rather muted debut and follow-up novels. My introduction to Holmes had also taken place through the first episode of the Granada series, where Jeremy Brett had given us an unforgettable performance. Later I had read a superb translation of this story rendered by Subhadrakumar My n-th reading of this evergreen classic took place just yesterday! And that has prompted this review, which is entirely redundant for such a gem. Record suggests that Holmes was practically reborn in this story, after his rather muted debut and follow-up novels. My introduction to Holmes had also taken place through the first episode of the Granada series, where Jeremy Brett had given us an unforgettable performance. Later I had read a superb translation of this story rendered by Subhadrakumar Sen in fortnightly 'Anandamela', lavishly illustrated by Subrata Gangopadhyay. But through all these, I had remembered only 'The Woman.' If you are yet to read this story, then please read it ASAP. Yes, Holmes is there. But there is that person whose intelligence proves again what the BBC Sherlock had marvelously utilised as a tagline for the site maintained by the Dominatrix. Know it, when you are beaten!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    "A Scandal in Bohemia" was the first of Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories to be published in The Strand Magazine and the first Sherlock Holmes story illustrated by Sidney Paget. (Two of the four Sherlock Holmes novels -- A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four -- preceded the short story cycle). Doyle ranked "A Scandal in Bohemia" fifth in his list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories. A movie was made based on this book and it's available at YouTube. "A Scandal in Bohemia" was the first of Arthur Conan Doyle's 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories to be published in The Strand Magazine and the first Sherlock Holmes story illustrated by Sidney Paget. (Two of the four Sherlock Holmes novels -- A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four -- preceded the short story cycle). Doyle ranked "A Scandal in Bohemia" fifth in his list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories. A movie was made based on this book and it's available at YouTube.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa. I quite enjoyed this. Despite the short length it had a fast pace, yet at the same time it was like nothing was missing from the story. It was a quick and very enjoyable read, and with every story I read I want to read the next even more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gieliza

    3.5 stars!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul Haspel

    A scandal threatens the Kingdom of Bohemia, and therefore the King himself repairs in some haste to 221-B Baker Street, London NW1, to seek out the help of Sherlock Holmes. And thus unfolds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891) – the third Sherlock Holmes tale, the first short story in the Holmes canon, and one of the Holmes works that is likely to be of greatest interest to modern readers. Conan Doyle was a physician by training. Accordingly, it is probably no coincidence that w A scandal threatens the Kingdom of Bohemia, and therefore the King himself repairs in some haste to 221-B Baker Street, London NW1, to seek out the help of Sherlock Holmes. And thus unfolds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891) – the third Sherlock Holmes tale, the first short story in the Holmes canon, and one of the Holmes works that is likely to be of greatest interest to modern readers. Conan Doyle was a physician by training. Accordingly, it is probably no coincidence that when he began crafting his tales of the master-detective Sherlock Holmes, he chose to mediate the experience of Holmes’s investigations through the character of a doctor - one John H. Watson. Dr. Watson is a pleasant, intelligent, and ethical person – a fine companion for the journey – but his relatively conventional outlook and perspectives on life provide plenty of room for him, and us, to be perpetually amazed by Holmes’s astonishing breadth of knowledge and seemingly preternatural ability to find his way toward the solution of a mysterious crime. Before writing “A Scandal in Bohemia,” Conan Doyle had written two Sherlock Holmes novels, A Study in Scarlet (1887) and The Sign of the Four (1890), and the tales had proven immensely and immediately popular. It is therefore interesting that Conan Doyle did not persist with novels, but turned to the opportunity to write shorter stories about the brilliant detective and his loyal physician friend. Part of the pleasure of following Holmes and Watson on their adventures consists in the manner in which Conan Doyle follows a formula that manages not to seek formulaic. We know that Dr. Watson will make his way to 221-B Baker Street, where Holmes will be “buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature” (pp. 2-3). Holmes will make some sudden and startling, and yet casual, demonstration of his own brilliance, and then he will set forth some of his general principles for conducting a deductive investigation – as when he says, near the beginning of this story, that “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts” (p. 8). Only after the completion of these initial rituals will the details of a new case emerge. What may cause “A Scandal in Bohemia” to stand out from other Sherlock Holmes tales, for contemporary readers, is the character of Irene Adler – a name that will be familiar to moviegoers, because of the zest and energy with which Canadian actress Rachel McAdams portrayed Irene Adler in the Guy Ritchie films Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). At the core of this story is the manner in which Irene Adler – though always seen at a distance, or at second-hand – emerges as a vividly realized character who, at crucial moments in the story, shows herself to be a worthy opponent for the brilliant Holmes. Watson begins “A Scandal in Bohemia” by saying of Irene Adler that “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman”, and adds that “In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex”. Watson, who tends to moralize, calls Irene Adler a woman “of dubious and questionable memory”, and insists that Holmes did not love Irene Adler. But he makes clear that, in some way, Irene Adler was special to Holmes – for “there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler” (p. 2). Irene Adler’s credentials, like Holmes’s, are formidable. Reading over her file, from the copious collection of files that Holmes keeps on all potential persons of interest, Holmes reads of Irene Adler’s talents: “Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. Contralto – hum! La Scala, hum! Prima donna, Imperial Opera of Warsaw – yes!” (p. 17) Like Holmes himself, Irene Adler is a bit of a polymath – someone who is good at everything. As mentioned above, Holmes’s client for the case chronicled in “A Scandal in Bohemia” is the King of Bohemia himself. Disguised as a Bohemian count, the king has made his way to 221-B Baker Street because, as the king admits, “Some five years ago, during a lengthy visit to Warsaw, I made the acquaintance of the well-known adventuress, Irene Adler” (p. 17). They exchanged letters, and were even photographed together; but ultimately, the king decided that Irene was not suitable as a marriage partner for a king. Now, the king fears that Irene Adler will thwart his planned marriage to a Scandinavian princess by sending the photograph to the princess’s family. When the king says of Irene Adler that “she has a soul of steel. She has the face of the most beautiful of women, and the mind of the most resolute of men. Rather than I should marry another woman, there are no lengths to which she would not go – none” (p. 19), one senses Holmes’s growing sympathy for Irene, and his increasing disaffection for his royal client. Yet Holmes takes the case, and begins ferreting out clues – using, in the process, his well-known talent for disguise. He learns that Irene Adler, at her villa in the Saint John’s Wood area of northwest London, has been receiving a lawyer named Godfrey Norton. In a flashback, Holmes recounts his surprise at learning, when he followed Irene and Godfrey to the Church of Saint Monica, that the relationship between Irene and Godfrey was not strictly a lawyer-client relationship. Holmes tells Watson that, while he was still disguised as a horse-groom, “I was half-dragged up to the altar, and before I knew where I was found myself mumbling responses which were whispered in my ear, and vouching for things of which I knew nothing, and generally assisting in the secure tying-up of Irene Adler, spinster, to Godfrey Norton, bachelor” (p. 31). In a manner that recalls Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Purloined Letter” (1844), Holmes reasons out where in Irene’s house the photograph is likely to be, and makes plans for its recovery. Employing a group of people, Holmes concocts an elaborate ruse that gets him admitted to Irene’s home. He describes his reasoning to Watson, in a manner that might seem somewhat gender-essentialist today: “When a woman thinks that her house is on fire, her instinct is as once to rush to the thing which she values most. It is a perfectly overpowering impulse….A married woman grabs at her baby; an unmarried one reaches for her jewel-box” (p. 42). Holmes comes to understand that “The photograph is in a recess behind a sliding panel, just above the right bell-pull” (p. 45); and at this point, it seems as though the recovery of the photograph will be a simple and routine undertaking. But Irene Adler has one more move to make in this elaborate game of chess – one that increases the reader’s sympathy and admiration for her, particularly when one reads what she has to say in a letter that she leaves for Holmes. One of my many readings of “A Scandal in Bohemia” took place in the context of a trip to London a few years ago. My wife and I were staying in the Marylebone section of the city, and we made a point of visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum – at, yes, 221-B Baker Street. The wall tiles at the nearby Baker Street Station of the London Underground are decorated with silhouettes of Holmes wearing his deer-stalker hat and smoking a pipe. Holmes is virtually a living presence in that part of London – evidence of the way in which his adventures have made generations of readers want to travel along with him, just as Dr. Watson originally did. Many of the pleasures of “A Scandal in Bohemia” will be familiar to fans of Conan Doyle’s work, but the presence of the Irene Adler character gives this story something distinctive. As this story concludes, the reader understands why, as Watson observes in a closing remark, whenever Sherlock Holmes “speaks of Irene Adler…it is always under the honourable title of the woman” (p. 53). Truly, “A Scandal in Bohemia” is scandalously entertaining.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jason Donoghue

    Truly an enjoyable read, I would recommend it. I find Holmes a character like no other

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    Doyle’s novels on the incomparable and inimitable Sherlock Holmes are presumably some of the most significant detective stories ever written, drawing a perfectly unique and charismatic character with a lot of recognition value, accompanied by Watson, the everyman commenting on Sherlock’s ways of behaviour with observations and comments of his own. I’ve only read one of them so far before deciding to download the „Adventures of Sherlock Holmes“, a collection of twelve different short stories, whi Doyle’s novels on the incomparable and inimitable Sherlock Holmes are presumably some of the most significant detective stories ever written, drawing a perfectly unique and charismatic character with a lot of recognition value, accompanied by Watson, the everyman commenting on Sherlock’s ways of behaviour with observations and comments of his own. I’ve only read one of them so far before deciding to download the „Adventures of Sherlock Holmes“, a collection of twelve different short stories, which can be found free of charge and legally on the website of Project Gutenberg. And I have to admit, the one I read was probably not the best one to start with when reading the Sherlock novels – it was „The Valley of Fear“, Doyle’s seventh Sherlock novel, and probably the weakest one, judging from several reviews and my own feeling about it. After reading that one, I quitted reading the Sherlock novels for some months, finding it difficult to bestir myself to read „A Study in Scarlet“, the first novel about Sherlock if I got it right. But now it has finally found its place on my „to-read-next“ list. „A Scandal in Bohemia“ has been the inspiration for the first episode of the second season of BBC’s successful Sherlock Holmes TV adaption. By creating the interesting character of Irene Adler, Doyle managed to show another new side of the perfectly portrayed character of Sherlock (not to mention that the modernized version of Irene Adler, played by Lara Pulver, has been even more interesting and versatile with all those different sides the authors decided to allow her character to show). It is no particularly long story (approximately 8,5k words) and, thus, cannot be compared to any of Doyle’s novels (only one of which has been read by me so far, a fact I’m willing to change during the next time). But Doyle was capable of creating an interesting atmosphere, especially by including a lot of humorous conversations, and his writing style is pretty captivating (sort of the contrary to what I remember about reading „The Valley of Fear“, but I’m prepared to eliminate my poor impression of this one in order to gain a new opinion on the Sherlock novels). I’d give this short story 4.0 stars, recommending it to everyone who likes reading a well-plotted crime story with interesting characters. And it’s free, so don’t think too long about reading this – just read it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I've made a terrible mistake. Sherlock Holmes may very well be my favorite person to ever exist. I'm obsessed with the TV show, I'm obsessed with the books, and I'm overall OBSESSED with Sherlock Holmes. I can't go back. What choice do I have but to read all fifty two pieces of literature about Sherlock Holmes? RTC! --------–--------------------------------------------------------------------- Review can also be found on my blog, Lacey Paris Books(link in my bio!) I've become obsessed with Sherloc I've made a terrible mistake. Sherlock Holmes may very well be my favorite person to ever exist. I'm obsessed with the TV show, I'm obsessed with the books, and I'm overall OBSESSED with Sherlock Holmes. I can't go back. What choice do I have but to read all fifty two pieces of literature about Sherlock Holmes? RTC! --------–--------------------------------------------------------------------- Review can also be found on my blog, Lacey Paris Books(link in my bio!) I've become obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I watched the first episode of Sherlock on a whim. I love Benedict Cumberbatch because he played Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, so I thought I'd give the show a go. I've either made the best decision of my life...or the worst one. A Scandal In Bohemia was an automatic 5/5 stars. Immediately after I watched episode one of the show, I knew I'd found a story I adored. I checked out the first three Sherlock Holmes short stories from the library and devoured A Scandal In Bohemia in one night. I'm now determined to read all fifty six Sherlock Holmes related stories of Arthur Conan Doyle's. I love Sherlock's unique and charismatic personality! He's much different in the books than he is in the TV show, but I love him nonetheless. While I relate to TV Sherlock, I admire and aspire to be novel Sherlock! Also, I'm almost positive TV Sherlock is asexual. It's great to see some main stream representation for underrepresented minorities. I also love John! He's such a sweetheart and his friendship with Sherlock warms my heart. It seems more problematic in the TV show than it is in the books, but both are equally enjoyable to watch/read. Irene Adler is brilliant and that's all I've got to say about that. I hope I'll be seeing more of her. I obviously won't reveiw all fifty six stories but I thought it was important to document my initial arrival to 221 B Baker Street! I'm sure Sherlock Holmes will be appearing more and more throughout my reading. This is defiantly the start of something beautiful!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaksen

    I read many of the Sherlock stories as a teenager and am now revisiting them. I am reading them in an annotated version, one which gives explanations of the times, English phrases, the difference between broughams, hansoms and landaus, etc. It's an interesting read as well as a fascinating quick one. All the elements are there, Watson and his piquant observations of the even more-piquant Holmes, his strengths, his eccentricities, his ability to uniquely deduce the most minute of characteristics I read many of the Sherlock stories as a teenager and am now revisiting them. I am reading them in an annotated version, one which gives explanations of the times, English phrases, the difference between broughams, hansoms and landaus, etc. It's an interesting read as well as a fascinating quick one. All the elements are there, Watson and his piquant observations of the even more-piquant Holmes, his strengths, his eccentricities, his ability to uniquely deduce the most minute of characteristics of a person at first meeting. There are errors here and there, though, as that annotated version points out - and wow, do Holmesian scholars pour over every word, every nuance, every tiny historical and geographical detail! - but the story was well worth it. I simply love the language, dialogue, settings themselves. (view spoiler)[ This story involves a king being blackmailed by a vengeful woman, and the woman is Irene Adler, whom Holmes ever-after refers to as 'the woman.' This is supposedly the only tale in which Holmes does not win and is outwitted by someone else - and she's a woman! Holmes takes on the case to help the king and gain back the photograph and using subterfuge, an array of disguises and his keen intellect almost succeeds. (hide spoiler)] A great story, worth reading on a gloomy night with a glass of wine and a roaring fire.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cintia

    THE GAME IS ON Excellent!! I must say, if it has Sherlock Holmes on it, the book is, hands down, good. I had read this one a long time ago, and this time was actually a re-read. In the meantime, of course, I watched BBC "Sherlock", and, by the way, the episode based on this story is really awesome (the whole show is). I think the point of this story is to say that Sherlock isn't, after all, entirely foolproof. He's smart, and we all know what he can know with only looking at something/someone. But THE GAME IS ON Excellent!! I must say, if it has Sherlock Holmes on it, the book is, hands down, good. I had read this one a long time ago, and this time was actually a re-read. In the meantime, of course, I watched BBC "Sherlock", and, by the way, the episode based on this story is really awesome (the whole show is). I think the point of this story is to say that Sherlock isn't, after all, entirely foolproof. He's smart, and we all know what he can know with only looking at something/someone. But I love the fact that he was bested when he least expected it, and by the least likely person. A woman. "The" woman. It puts an end with the idea that the detective is perfect, that there's nothing that can be hidden from his mind. Sherlock never distinguished a woman from the next, they were all the same, and saw them more like an object of pathological study than people. But Irene Adler proved to be different, and defeated him in his own game. It's a short, quick, and entertaining read. When it comes to Sherlock Holmes, there's no time wasted!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    This was, quite naturally, the first Sherlock Holmes story I ever read, and I was so confused by Irene, thinking I'd somehow missed a preceding story. Kind of fell into the narrative anyway, and it didn't matter that I couldn't quite figure out some of the details. This is one of the more well-known of the Holmes collection because it's unique, and because it introduces us to some rather important characters. It easily cemented my love for this eccentric detective and I quickly devoured the rest This was, quite naturally, the first Sherlock Holmes story I ever read, and I was so confused by Irene, thinking I'd somehow missed a preceding story. Kind of fell into the narrative anyway, and it didn't matter that I couldn't quite figure out some of the details. This is one of the more well-known of the Holmes collection because it's unique, and because it introduces us to some rather important characters. It easily cemented my love for this eccentric detective and I quickly devoured the rest of the Sherlock Holmes adventures after that. A great one to start with.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I loved reading Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid. I remember this arch villain named Moriarty who fell off a cliff and haunted him. I also remember giant mastiffs and a lot of fog. It's going to be fun to be reacquainted. This first short is really cool. His skills are introduced and he gets ousted by a girl.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    A typical Sherlock Holmes story. Mysterious entree and then a fine denouement with a little trick and help from Dr Watson. Quick and funny read. For fans and persons who want to become so. Enjoyable!

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