In my early high school classes, we read two Sherlock Holmes stories: “The Speckled Band” and an abridged version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Now, I’ve never liked “The Speckled Band.” I get where it’s an interesting solution to the mystery, but in my case, I was always more “meh” about it. Plus, it gave me a watered-down impression of the Holmes character, because once I stumbled upon a very pretty edition of A Study in Scarlet and read it, my mind was blown. I had never realized, based on my high school readings, that Sherlock Holmes was so much fun. Way to be useless, tenth-grade English.
Reading A Study in Scarlet for the first time made me fall in love with Holmes pretty much from the moment he showed up on the page. He was lively, for one thing, which wasn’t a portrayal of the character that was familiar to me. He was just…amazing. I can’t say it enough.
Now, not all of the Holmes stories are glittering gems, and I’m sure everyone has their own favorites based on their tastes (I still don’t love “The Speckled Band” and I really couldn’t stand The Valley of Fear). But Holmes became my favorite literary character of all time based on this one story, and so it has remained.