Book Reviews · Manga · Mystery

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a month since the end of the March Mystery Madness readathon! April has gone by so quickly! During March Mystery Madness, I had the opportunity to read a lot of different mysteries, including several that featured well-known literary detectives.

One of the detectives that I decided to spend some time with was Sherlock Holmes, the famous consulting detective created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink is a manga adaptation of the first episode of the BBC’s Sherlock television series, which premiered in 2010. The television series is a modern version of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, and was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. The manga series, which is currently still being released, is illustrated by Jay.

This book introduces the reader to Dr. John Watson, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who has returned to London after being injured in combat. Watson is having a difficult time settling back into civilian life, when he runs into an old friend from his days at St. Bart’s Hospital. His friend soon introduces him to Sherlock Holmes, a consulting detective who is looking for someone to share his new flat.

When the police contact Sherlock, seeking his help with what appears to be a string of serial suicides, Watson finds himself going along for the ride. In the process, he not only finds the adventure and purpose he’s been missing, but a new (if rather exasperating) friend as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Study in Pink. It was just like the television episode, and there were several times that I felt like I could almost hear the dialogue (and the soundtrack) in my head while I was reading.

The artwork in this manga is fantastic, and incredibly detailed. Jay does a great job of staying true to the atmosphere and overall design of the show. The character designs are also excellent, and very strongly resemble the actors from the television series. This is especially true in the case of Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (played by Martin Freeman).

I do think it is worth noting that this book does include some content that might cause distress for some readers, including: references to suicide, PTSD, and visual depictions of war.

As of right now, there are currently four volumes of the manga available, with a fifth volume scheduled to come out near the end of this year. The titles include:

  • A Study in Pink
  • The Blind Banker
  • The Great Game
  • A Scandal in Belgravia (part one)
  • A Scandal in Belgravia (part two; coming out on December 21, 2021)

If you are a fan of the Sherlock television series and you’re looking for a great manga to try, then I definitely recommend Sherlock: A Study in Pink. It’s a wonderful adaptation of the television show, and a tremendous amount of fun to read. Now that I’ve had a chance to read it, I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

Happy reading!

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