Friday, February 12, 2016

What's Kristine Reading? February Edition

   It's been stupid cold and snowy here in Nashville, so my training has kind of gone to hell. Yes, I've gotten soft down here in the South. I don't mind the cold so much, but I don't venture out in the snow. I'm prone to falling under the best of conditions. I don't need to temp fate by running in the snow.
   Which all leads me to the fact that I've been reading a lot instead of training. Nothing too deep - just fun books that help pass the time when it's cold and gross out. My pick for February is "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes - my first Sherlock Holmes novel ever!

   In complete honesty, I choose this book because I'm hooked on the BBC TV show "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch (I'm "Sherlocked," as they say). If you haven't watched any of "Sherlock", you really should because it's excellent. Each episode is loosely based upon one of the original Sherlock Holmes novels. And being the huge geek that I am, I HAD to go back and read the books to see how they compared to the show. (For the record - doing this is actually a departure from my normal MO. I rarely watch a show or movie prior to reading the book from which it was based.)
   Coming from the standpoint of someone who knew NOTHING about Sherlock Holmes other than watching the Robert Downy Jr. movies, watching the show and reading this book has been a lot of fun. Of course, I had heard of Sherlock Holmes growing up, but I was never really into mysteries so I just kind of avoided the books in the past. But I always wondered how Holmes and Watson ended up together because they kind of seemed like an odd pair. Well, "A Study in Scarlet" is the first Sherlock Holmes novel, so you learn all about how they met and why they live together. And previously, I always just thought Holmes was a kind of a quirky, Sheldon Cooper-kind of guy...and he is. But the whole "brilliant master of deduction" thing was lost on me. After reading the book, I understand the character more, and can see why Holmes has become such a prominent figure in classic literature.
   "A Study in Scarlet" is based on the murder of an American who is found in an abandoned house. He had been killed, but not robbed. Scotland Yard is baffled, so they ask of the assistance of the country's only consulting detective - Sherlock Holmes. Since this book is a mystery, I'm pretty much leaving the review at that - don't want to give anything away. However, I will say that even though I had seen the TV show and knew (pretty much) who committed the murder, I was still very interested in the book. While the overall plotlines are similar, they differ enough (greatly in some points) to not get bored. In fact, you kind of wonder how everything will all fit together in the end.
   The book is only about 120 pages and it didn't even take me a weekend to read. I'm not sure if I'll go back and read all of the Sherlock Holmes books that accompany "Sherlock," but I'll probably hit a few more. I am definitely glad I read this one though. And seriously, go to Netflix now and watch "Sherlock." You're welcome.