I have recently read my favorite story of all time and I fear that I’ll never read a better one. A Scandal in Bohemia, a short story as opposed to the two novels preceding it (A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four), it is packed full of humor, wit, and preposterousness. Rarely one to laugh aloud at the humor of books, this short story written in 1891 had me holding my sides and in tears multiple times.
The story begins with Dr. Watson having moved out of 221B Baker Streetand into a new home with his wife, a notable character introduced in The Sign of Four, Mary Watson (née Morstan) and returning to private medical practice. On a whim, Watson pays a visit to his old companion Sherlock Holmes and the real adventure begins. During the visit, Holmes is consulted by a man wearing incredibly gaudy and tacky clothing and a mask and calling himself Count Von Kramm. Holmes, displaying yet again an incredible talent for observation, deduces that the man is in fact the fictional King of Bohemia.
The King reveals that he is in quite a predicament: he is engaged to be married but, should his previous relationship with a foreign opera singer come to light, his fiancée’s parents would never allow the marriage to happen. As it happens, the opera singer—Irene Adler—has a photo of the king and herself and is threatening to reveal their old affair to the newspapers.
Through a series of hilarious and hysterical events, Holmes deduces the location of the photograph but, as in any good story, there is a twist. The ending makes Holmes more human in my opinion, and shows that he has the ability to change. Once a man with a casual mistrust of women, Holmes begins to learn that the opposite sex are in fact deserving of respect. A Scandal in Bohemia is definitely a must-read and I guarantee that you will be sad to reach the end.
— Review by Phillip, teen blogger