I'll start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start :) When I was a little child one of my favourite Disney films was The Great Mouse Detective. It's still one of my favourite films to this day and I class it as my introduction to Sherlock Holmes. When I was about 12 or 13 I then read Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles and I really liked it. I re-read the story as an adult and loved it! After I read that novel I then watched the first series of the BBC's Sherlock and became a super massive fangirl of that show. Since then I've read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four and The Return of Sherlock Holmes. I've seen series two and three of Sherlock, the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, and the first season of the CBS show Elementary. I've also read a couple of Sherlock Holmes pastiche novels. Now I've set myself a challenge: I'm aiming to read all of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books in their published order during the next 12 months.
A Study in Scarlet might be the original Sherlock Holmes story but I think a newcomer to the canon would be better off starting with The Hound of the Baskervilles or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In the eyes of many Sherlockians what I'm about to say is tantamount to blasphemy but it's my honest opinion: Sherlock's A Study in Pink is a huge improvement on this book! A Study in Scarlet is... an odd novel. It has quite a weird structure and is basically two stories in one. The first half of the book is excellent. Sherlock Holmes is witty, mysterious, eccentric, compelling, conceited and brilliant. The mystery is intriguing, there's plenty of humour, and the interactions between Holmes and Watson are highly entertaining: e.g. Watson's bewilderment at Holmes' ignorance of the solar system :D Then at the halfway point the story completely changes. The murderer gets a jarring and unnecessarily long backstory that involves evil Mormons in America. I wasn't keen on this part of the novel on my first read and during this re-read I liked it even less. Quite frankly it just isn't something that I'd want to read about in a Sherlock Holmes story. If it wasn't for this backstory the book would probably get a 4.5/5.