In 1886 Arthur Conan Doyle, whilst struggling to make a success of a failing medical practice in Portsmouth, set about writing a novel in order to boost his income. He began a story about a fiercely intelligent sleuth called Sheridan Hope. A year later A Study in Scarlet was published, and one of the most successful of literary characters began to take hold of the public's affections.
Sherlock Holmes, as he was now called, and his inimitable methods of deduction are introduced in this, the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
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