Tea Tonic and Toxin: Mystery and Thriller Podcast and Book Club

Introducing Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Podcast - Tea Tonic and Toxin
Tea, Tonic, and Toxin
Tea, Tonic, and Toxin
Introducing Sherlock Holmes
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Study in Scarlet Podcast: Introducing Sherlock Holmes and Watson

Welcome to the second Study in Scarlet podcast episode introducing Sherlock Holmes in the very first novel.

The “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson — two of the most famous characters in English literature — make their first appearance in this tale, which forever changed the way mystery novels were written.

How to Read ItBuy it on Amazon, find a copy at a used bookstore, or read it for free (courtesy of Project Gutenberg).

Estimated Reading Time: 3 hours. Share your thoughts and check out the questions below!

What We're Talking About in our Study in Scarlet podcast episode introducing Sherlock Holmes (part 2 of 2) --

As usual, we have loads to discuss. Here’s a sampler …

 

Story Structure: Part Two is a complete departure from Part One. An unnamed third-person narrator takes the place of John Watson. This new story starts in 1847, roughly 34 years before the events of Part One. We then catch back up with the ending of Part One and continue the present-day story. Does this structure work? Why or why not?

 

The Mormon Faith: There’s some controversy about the story told in Part Two. What’s your take on the way Mormonism is presented? And why does the narrator describe the Salt Lake Valley as hell on earth?

 

Reasoning Backwards: Holmes says that if you describe a train of events, most people “will tell you what the result would be. They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass. There are few people, however, who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result.” Is the ability to reason backward the key skill of the consulting detective?

 

Honor, Justice, and Credit Where Credit Is Due: Jefferson Hope won’t kill in cold blood. He says, “[Drebber and Stangerson] should each have a draw out of one of these [pill]boxes, while I ate the pill that remained.”

 

Watson describes Enoch Drebber as “baboon-like.” He says, “If ever human features bespoke vice of the most malignant type, they were certainly those of Enoch J. Drebber, of Cleveland.” Nonetheless, Watson “recognized that justice must be done, and that the depravity of the victim was no condonement in the eyes of the law.”

 

Holmes asks the name of Jefferson Hope’s accomplice. Hope says, “I can tell my own secrets, but I don’t get other people into trouble.”

 

Holmes is initially reluctant to take the case because he knows Gregson and Lestrade will take the credit. At the end, Watson tells Holmes, “Your merits should be publicly recognized. You should publish an account of the case. If you won’t, I will for you.”

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