Sherlock Holmes has always just been there, an instantaneously recognisable character such as, for example, is James Bond. Any yet, I had no idea of his origins before reading this, the first book in the series. In "A Study In Scarlet" we learn of how Dr Watson (recently invalided out of the army after being injured in Afghanistan), links up with Holmes (carrying out experiments in a University laboratory but apparently not a full time student), in their mutual search for low cost but respectable lodgings. Holmes is already training himself to be a master detective, and is already known to the police as a useful source to be consulted, but as yet has won no public fame. Watson, initially skeptical about Holmes's powers of deduction (but fascinated by his somewhat eccentric character), is quickly won over as the police bring him in to assist with the baffling murder of an American gentleman in an empty London house; a murder with no apparent reason or cause. A significant part of the book thereafter is taken up with the history leading up to the murder, something which, to my surprise, takes us back to Salt Lake City and the Mormon religion. The result of this is that the book reads like an adventure story and a detective story, rolled in to one. Once Holmes solves the murder he then explains to Watson why, although on the surface this was a difficult case to crack, it was easy for him. And so the book ends with Holmes providing the reader with a clear explanation of his techniques of detection; techniques that will ultimately bring fame to both he and his creator, Conan Doyle. An excellent start to the series.