Sunday 3 May 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Mr Doyle's Class Presents A Study In Scarlet

Last night, I read a clever little comic from Matt Hardy of @MadRobotComics - a reimagining of A Study In Scarlet that really does some smart things with a familiar story. So.... let's talk!

First of all, let's start with that word Scarlet, which ends up being a gender flip. Meet Scarlet, our genius detective. For this is our Sherlock in this story. Sort of. Sort of? Yes, well, you don't know Sherlock Holmes yet. Read on.

You see, it's all framed as a school play of the Sherlock story. And Scarlet is our lead actor.

But the more the actors get into their roles the more they become like their characters. The lines between reality and story become blurred.

In essence the young actors become the detectives, trying to solve the mystery even as they perform it on stage.

Written for a child friendly audience it even has an intermission with a chance to explain some parts of Victorian life.

It even includes the American venture often dropped in other adaptations.

In the end, it is both a great companion read for children discovering Sherlock for the first time and a story in its own right about what its cast learns along the way.

Nicely done all round and with a hint of a sequel. Well done to @MattPHardy, artist Russell Mark Olson, letterer @RobJonesWrites, and editor Elinor Winter. And praise too to Portsmouth City Council for their involvement in the project, a nice way to bring an old favourite to a new, young audience.

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