Saturday, May 11, 2013

By Its Cover: A Study in Scarlet

The copy I read had a faintly patterned beige cover, and I cannot find an image of it - not that it was interesting enough to say much about, anyway. It made the book look like the classic that it is, tells you nothing about the story except the title and author, and was very boring.

This cover, by Oxford's World Classics, is more intriguing. You can actually see one of the clues (or, as my version called them, "clews") to the crime: a bloody handprint on a wall. Plus, there's Holmes, in his unusually bathrobe-looking coat.

This one evokes the sense of mystery appropriately, I think. A shadowy road (exactly the way I pictured the road in the book, with the carriage and everything), the silhouette of Holmes looking for all the world like he knows exactly what's going on and when to divulge it to everyone else... it's just right. Like the previous one, we get to see one of the details of the mystery (the carriage plays its part).

Yawn. This could be any of the Holmes stories, as far as I can tell. We see Holmes bent over some sort of study, probably involving chemicals, and Watson standing nearby, waiting to be told what Holmes is doing. This isn't specific enough to the mystery in this book, for my taste.

I don't really have a lot to add to this post.  I read an eBook, so I didn't really SEE a cover that often.  Also, I read an anthology of all the Holmes books/short stories.  So, the cover of it was just the door of 221 B Baker St.  Which, while effective as a cover for an anthology (really, what else would you use to represent all of the Holmes work?), it didn't tell me much about A Study in Scarlet.

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