A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman

I had this strange dream a few months ago. I was in a Sherlock Holmes setting but instead of having to solve murders in the streets of London, I was solving paranormal cases with goblins and elves. Then, I wondered how great would it be if there was a fantasy retelling with Sherlock Holmes?
Guys, I found it.

 And it comes with beautiful illustrations. What more can I ask for?

“Trang is reviewing a graphic novel?!” HELL YES and she’s going to tell you all about it. 



I always loved reading graphic novels and I noticed that one of the challenges in this medium is to convey an original story while having a clear storyline in just a few pages. Neil Gaiman, Rafael Alburerque and company did just that.

They manage to set up the world building in a Lovecraftian way but keep all the Sherlock Holmes references all the same.

The perfect pastiche. A Study in Emerald is foreshadowing The Study In Scarlet by Conan Doyle. The dialogue is funny, entertaining and as thought provoking as the original works from Doyle. The story follows the simple murder mystery plot until the last page ends WITH A FRKN TWIST!  A magnificent twist, dare I say, for I am a fan of big reveals. The kind of reveal that makes you want to re-read the story and find the clues that you missed the first time.

As for the length, It is short I must warn you, I wish they will continue this a series because I’m sure they have plenty of ideas to explore 😀 


The artwork is simply phenomenal! Watercolour painting is one of my hobby and seeing this perfect bushed water-coloured illustrations just want to make me frame every single page. I find the posters at the beginning of each chapter a clever way to introduce us to the gripping world building.


Thanks to the lovely comments, I can confirm that A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman : 
Kim @ Traveling book: “originally published in an anthology called Shadows Over Baker Street, which was a ‘Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft’ set of stories”. 
Kiersten @ Once Upon A Spine : “I read this story originally in one of Neil’s short story collections, Fragile Things
A Study in Emerald also won the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story


Thank you to Penguin Random House for giving me a free copy to review! 


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42 thoughts on “A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman

  1. Whoaaa…this one looks phenomonal. The story sounds great (and like you I seriously LOVE cool twistst) and the art itself is spectacular. Definitely adding this one to my to read list 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘A Study in Emerald’ was, I think, originally published in an anthology called Shadows Over Baker Street, which was a ‘Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft’ set of stories. I only remember reading Gaiman’s story, but I don’t recall disliking any of the others. It’s been a while since I read it though. No amazing artwork, since it’s not a graphic novel, but you should check it out!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read this short story a couple of years ago. What a great idea to make it into a graphic novel! I did not see the twist at the end coming!

    I have a Sherlock Holmes adventure of my own: ‘A Study in Temperance’. I have been a fan of the Great Detective since I was small, and could not resist the chance to rekindle this childhood friendship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha omg that’s so cool! A Study in Temperance ! 😍 Me neither, one of the best twists of all times to be honest 👏 The artwork is absolutely magnificent, it was such a great idea they had to turn it into a graphic novel

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is in my TBR right now. Glad you enjoyed it. Pretty sure this is a graphic novelization of one of Gaiman’s short stories, so I doubt there will be a continuation . . . but that would be super fun if there were. 🙂


    1. JACKIE!! I know ! I didn’t know either until it came in my bookmail XD OMG OMG ❤ so excited for you to read this masterpiece *0* What kind of graphic novels do you like? Fantasy/Scifi/Superheroes/Crime-Thriller-Psychological ? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how your dream led you to finding this book (or would you say it was more a case of your dream foretelling this book?) 😀 Either was this sounds amazing, then again seeing as it’s by Neil Gaiman I didn’t really expect anything else.
    Great review Trang. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dream did foretelling this book LOL or I was in the same dream as Neil Gaiman *smirk* you’ll never know 😉 He slowly becoming my fave author to be honest :O

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayyy!! 😀 Hhah yeah my dreams can be pretty creative sometimes LOL and they are so vivid that I always remember them ! Yayyy hope you’ll read it soon 🙂


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