Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a Scottish physician and writer known around the world for his stories about detective Sherlock Holmes, which all but created the literary field of crime fiction and made the name Sherlock Holmes synonymous with detectives. Aside from the Sherlock Holmes stories, he was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction. In December 1893, in order to dedicate more of his time to more "important" works-his historical novels- Conan Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty apparently plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story "The Final Problem." The public was having none of it, however, and there was an outpouring of support for bringing Sherlock Holmes back, leading Conan Doyle to write a new story in 1901, The Hound of the Baskervilles.A Study in Scarlet is the first detective mystery novel written by Conan Doyle to feature Sherlock Holmes, who is now the most famous literary detective characters. But back then, he barely garnered any interest. Conan Doyle wrote the novel at the age of 27 in less than three weeks. Although Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories featuring Holmes, A Study in Scarlet is one of only four full-length novels in the original canon. To get an idea of how influential the Sherlock Holmes' stories and novels became, A Study in Scarlet was the first work of fiction to incorporate the magnifying glass as an investigative tool.The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes to his companion Doctor Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigation as his "study in scarlet": "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."
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