''A Study in Emerald'' is a HugoAward-winning short story by Creator/NeilGaiman, essentially an IntercontinuityCrossover between ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' and the works of Creator/HPLovecraft. Written in the style of a classic Holmes pastiche, this story, roughly following the plot of the first Holmes novel ''Literature/AStudyInScarlet'', finds a brilliant consulting detective and [[TheWatson his new flatmate]] investigating the gruesome murder of a member of the royal family. A member who is both far more and far less than human...

Can be read [[http://www.neilgaiman.com/mediafiles/exclusive/shortstories/emerald.pdf here]] for free, in nifty newsprint format. Which we highly recommend you do before proceeding to the trope list, which contains spoilers.

And also just because it's awesome.
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!!This work provides examples of:

* AdaptationalHeroism / AdaptationalVillainy: Subverted in an interesting way. [[spoiler:In this universe, Moriarty and Moran are the detectives while Holmes and Watson are the criminal masterminds, but the former are working (semi-unwittingly) for the cosmic horrors ruling the Earth while the latter are freedom fighters working to free humanity. So, despite all the changes, Holmes and Watson are still ultimately the heroes saving people from Moriarty and Moran.]]
* AlienBlood: Hence why it's a study in ''emerald''.
* TheAllConcealingI: [[spoiler:The protagonists aren't referred to by name, so we're led to believe they're Holmes and Watson... until the real Holmes and Watson show up.]]
* AllohistoricalAllusion: In addition to the references to the Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft mythos, there are a few nods to actual history. [[spoiler: In particular, the ending hints that at the Russian Revolution has erupted.]]
* AlternateHistory: It's revealed in the first few paragraphs that [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] exist and are accepted fact in this version of UsefulNotes/VictorianBritain, and that's just the beginning.
* AntiHero: [[spoiler: Rache, the real Sherlock Holmes and killer of royalty,]] is a PragmaticHero.
* AssholeVictim: The Bohemian prince turns out to be one. [[spoiler:According to Holmes, he was actually a SerialKiller and rapist who abused his position to drive women insane and drain their lifeforce. Holmes and Watson lured him into a trap by claiming they had kidnapped a woman for him.]]
* BadassBookworm: [[spoiler: Rache, the real Sherlock Holmes.]]
** CulturedBadass
* BadassNormal: [[spoiler: Holmes and Watson]] managed to kill a human/Old One hybrid with mundane weaponry.
* BadDreams: The narrator warns his potential apartmentmate that he screams sometimes at night.
* BadMoonRising: The narrator mentions in passing that the moon is now red, and has been for centuries. People are used to it now.
* BigGood: The Old Ones, in the eyes of most of humanity.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Our protagonists go to see a theatre troupe perform three one-act plays: a wacky MistakenIdentity comedy, a tragic melodrama about a [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth sweet starving waif who sells violets]], and a [[CosmicHorrorStory historical epic about the day the Old Ones awoke and conquered humanity]]. [[DeliberateValuesDissonance And the audience is equally charmed by all three.]]
* BrownNote
* ContinuityNod:
** The name Sherry Vernet is a nod to a minor line from the Holmes story "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter."[[spoiler: In it, Holmes was said to be a distant relative of the painter Claude Vernet. and Sherringford was Holmes's first name in Arthur Conan Doyle's early drafts.]]
** The [[spoiler: Sigerson]] alias was also used as such by [[spoiler: Holmes]] in the period between the events of "[[spoiler:''The Final Problem'']]" and "[[spoiler:''The Adventure Of The Empty House'']]".
** "[[spoiler:John]] (or perhaps [[spoiler: James]]) [[spoiler: Watson]]" is a reference to Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's notorious inability to keep [[spoiler: Watson]]'s first name straight. Call it a miscontinuity nod.
** Likewise, there's a similar nod to the text's disagreement about where on his body [[spoiler:Watson]] was injured in [[spoiler:Afghanistan]]. ''Literature/AStudyInScarlet'' placed it on his leg, later stories said his shoulder. In ''A Study In Emerald'' [[spoiler:Moran, i.e., the "fake" Watson, was wounded in his shoulder, while the real Watson was wounded in his leg]].
*** [[spoiler: Moran refers to Watson as "The Limping Doctor" until Holmes and Watson's names are revealed at the end.]]
** [[spoiler: In Holmes' letter, he refers to the book "Dynamics of an Asteroid", which was a book written by Moriarty, mentioned in "The Valley of Fear."]]
** The detective muses that when a doctor who turns to crime always ranks among both the most brilliant and the most heinous of villains. In the original canon, Sherlock Holmes makes this observation about Dr. Roylott in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band". [[spoiler: In this universe, it's Dr. Watson.]]
* CosmicHorrorStory: But of course.
* CrackFic: And a glorious one it is.
* DeadlyDoctor:
-->Indeed. I hate to say this, but it is my experience that when a doctor goes to the bad, he is a fouler and darker creature than the worst cut-throat.
** [[spoiler: Subverted, in that the average reader is quite likely to agree with the killer, Dr. Watson, that his actions were right and necessary.]]
** This is also either a ContinuityNod or MythologyGag, in that the line is originally used to describe Dr. Roylott in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band'': "When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals."
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Tentacled horrors running the place? The natural order of things. To do it otherwise would just be silly.
** The narrator refers to the "savages" of Afghanistan (both human and EldritchAbomination) who are unwilling to see the reasonableness of being ruled by their betters in London [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg or even Moscow]].
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Early in the story, the protagonists are briefed by the Queen who, while oddly voiced, speaks English and talks lucidly, and is nice enough to heal the narrator's injury. She seems decent enough if you ignore the strong implication (probably certainty) that she and her relatives like to MindRape people every once in a while and will probably wipe out humanity pretty soon.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Two men manage to knife to death a Bohemian prince, a sort of Old One half-breed.
* DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu: Victoria is not the same same species as Prince Albert in this universe.
* EldritchAbomination: The Great Ones, naturally, including Queen Victoria, the Black One of Egypt, the Ancient Goat and the Czar Unanswerable.
* {{Expy}}: The Great Old Ones all have different names (or possibly titles). Ancient Goat, Parent to a Thousand is Lovecraft's Shub'Niggurath, MotherOfAThousandYoung. The Black One of Egypt is Nyarlathotep, the Czar Unanswerable is Hastur, and so on.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Queen Victoria. [[UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria Not that one.]] She's called [[MeaningfulName Victoria]] because [[CurbStompBattle she conquered Europe centuries ago]].
* GrievousHarmWithABody: "The hero beat the priest to death with his own crucifer".
* HalfHumanHybrid: Royalty is the product of intercourse between humans and Old Ones, producing something with green blood and a large number of limbs.
* HeroAntagonist: [[spoiler:The killer is the real Sherlock Holmes.]]
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Victoria's consort is quite human, while she towers over them.
* InSpiteOfANail: In the end, despite everything that's changed, [[spoiler: Holmes and Watson are still heroes battling Moriarty and Moran to save the day. The only real difference is that Moriarty and Moran think they're the good guys.]]
* LovecraftLite
* MedicalMonarch: Queen Victoria is able to ease the narrator's constant pain from a wound he received from an EldritchAbomination in Afghanistan. Of course, she's probably ''related'' to it.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: All plays on the titles of Lovecraft characters. The Czar Unanswerable (The Unnameable), the Black One of Egypt (Nyarlathotep), The Ancient Goat, Parent to a Thousand, Emperor of All China (Shub'Niggurath).
** They manage to turn The Queen Victoria Gloriana into this by what it means. "She was called Victoria, because she had beaten us in battle 700 years ago. She was called Gloriana because she was glorious, and She was called The Queen because the human mouth was not shaped to pronounce her real name."
* NobleTopEnforcer: Lestrade, the detective, the narrator and Prince Albert all seem like decent people.
* NukeEm: Offhand comments in the letter from [[spoiler: Sherlock Holmes]] at the end indicate that he is working on the theory of relativity. Given that he's made killing {{Physical God}}s and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s his life's work, there's really only one reason why he would.
* ObliviouslyEvil: [[spoiler: The protagonists and Lestrade.]]
* PerspectiveFlip: Kind of. [[spoiler: Moriarty and Moran are the "good guys" and Holmes and Watson are the antagonists. However, while the reader probably ends up seeing the latter as still being heroic, Moriarty and Moran actually are well-intentioned in this setting despite their allegiance to Eldritch Abominations.]]
* ReligionOfEvil: The Old Ones effectively force humanity to worship them and are violently hateful of any religion not dedicated to them.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: The letter at the end declares that the killer and his accomplice are going on the run, causing InspectorLestrade and his men to start stopping all trains and boats leaving the country. The detective, for his part, suspects that the two are ''actually'' going to hide in a notorious crime-ridden area merely a few streets away where the police won't bother to look. Because, if the roles were reversed, that's what he'd do.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: Played for kind of dark humor in that the Queen's relatives seem to be the usual debauched and reckless sort that the human Victoria had (and probably many/most monarchs have), but it's taken UpToEleven, given what they are.
* SerialNumbersFiledOff (InUniverse): The plays they see concerning the mistaken identity between identical twins and the girl who sells violets are, respectively, Shakespeare's ''Theatre/TheComedyOfErrors'' (with a bit of Wilde's ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'' mixed in) and ''The Little Match Girl'' by Hans Christian Andersen with a few details changed.
** [[spoiler:The latter of which makes perfect sense, seeing as the "hero" of the third play gained his status by beating a Christian priest to death with a crucifix. The Great Old Ones are not in the slightest friendly to the old religions.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: The narrator mentions that he often has flashbacks to his time in the military and that he frequently screams in his sleep. Given that his tour of duty ended with an encounter with an EldritchAbomination, it's not hard to figure out why.
* SherlockScan: Mostly played straight with the Great Detective, but subverted/parodied in the scene where he recognizes that the murder victim is a member of the German royal family... by the number of his limbs and the green shade of his blood.
** And in that case, while he's being snarky to Lestrade, he can recognize that the hybrid features are specifically from whatever eldritch horrors rule Germany.
* ShoutOut: With the exception of the first one, which introduces a theater troupe that will feature in the plot, each of the advertisements between chapters.
** "Victor's Vitae", manufactured by [[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Victor von F.]], promises to restore life to the dead... nether regions.
** [[Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde "Jekyll's Powders"]] will release the inner you.
** Exsanguinations by [[{{Dracula}} V. Tepes]], for your health.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-heeled_Jack Jack's Boots, Shoes, and Brogues]]. Putting the spring back in your heels is their specialty.
* SpellMyNameWithABlank: The story is signed [[spoiler: S_______ M____ Major (Ret'd)]]. Plus, the narrator says he's from the "____th Regiment" of the army.
* StaringDownCthulhu: The consulting detective, when he meets Victoria, doesn't seem at all intimidated.
* ThatsWhatIWouldDo: The detective tells the narrator that he figured out how the murderers got away based on the fact that he would have done the same thing. [[spoiler: An early moment of foreshadowing that, in an AlternateUniverse, he is the villain.]]
* TitleDrop: In the description of the crime scene.
* TomatoSurprise: [[spoiler:The protagonist is not Dr. Watson, and his companion is not Sherlock Holmes. They are actually Moran and Moriarty.]]
* TwiceToldTale: The ending can be hard to follow unless you're relatively familiar with the Literature/SherlockHolmes canon. (The story doesn't require a similarly close knowledge of the Cthulhu mythos, but it doesn't hurt.)
* TheWatson: Well, it's a Literature/SherlockHolmes pastiche, after all.
* WeirdMoon: It's bright red thanks to the Old Ones.
* WorthyOpponent: The Great Detective and his equally clever antagonist take this attitude toward each other.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: The narrator refers to the detective as "my friend." This sort of thing is common in professionally published pastiches, and the legal status of the Holmes characters is turbulent. [[spoiler: It's actually because the narrator and his friend are NOT Watson and Holmes.]]

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