Who are the suspects in A Study in Scarlet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "A Study in Scarlet," Holmes and Watson investigate the death of an American man called Enoch Drebber. When Holmes finds a wedding ring at the murder scene, he advertises for its owner to come around, believing this person may have some knowledge about the crime.

An elderly...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In "A Study in Scarlet," Holmes and Watson investigate the death of an American man called Enoch Drebber. When Holmes finds a wedding ring at the murder scene, he advertises for its owner to come around, believing this person may have some knowledge about the crime.

An elderly lady soon comes forward and claims the wedding ring. Her name is Mrs Sawyer and she tells Holmes that the ring belongs to her married daughter, Sally. After she leaves Baker Street, Holmes follows Sawyer, believing that she has a role in the crime, but this "tottering, feeble old woman" is too fast for the detective and is able to get away.

In Part One, Chapter Six, Scotland Yard begin to investigate a new suspect called Joseph Stangerson, who is the secretary to the late Mr Drebber. Holmes completely disagrees that Stangerson is a potential suspect, as he says: "Stangerson...had no more to do with the crime than a babe unborn." He is, in fact, proven correct in his assertion when Stangerson is found murdered, later in the chapter. 

In Part One, Chapter Seven, however, Holmes finds a new suspect. His name is Jefferson Hope and he is an American working in London as a cabman. His capture by Holmes is a complete surprise to Watson, Lestrade, and Gregson but, as Hope relates his story, it soon becomes apparent that he is the man who murdered Drebber and Stangerson. Suffering from an aneurysm, Hope relates his tragic tale and confesses to the murders. This proves, once again, that Holmes' science of deduction is far superior to the haphazard methods employed by those at Scotland Yard. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team