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scandal bohemia

How does the first paragraph in "A Scandal in Bohemia" create suspense?


The first paragraph of "A Scandal in Bohemia" creates suspense because Dr. Watson recounts that Sherlock Holmes refers to a character in the story as "the woman." For some reason, this woman has lodged herself in Holmes's mind as the person who surpasses and eclipses all other women. As Holmes is not sentimental, there must be another reason that this woman, whose name is revealed to be Irene Adler, has remained fixed in his mind. For Holmes to become so obsessed is a disruption in his ordinarily detached personality, and it is a disturbance in the instrument—his mind—he uses to unravel crimes. Therefore, the reason that Irene Adler has disturbed him must be somewhat extreme. In addition, Watson refers to her at the end of the first paragraph as "the late Irene Adler," so that reader knows that she is dead. The reason for her impression on Holmes and the method of her death pose questions in the reader's mind that result in suspense.

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