The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles   Sir Arthur Conan Doyle      Pages: 124
First published : 1901

The book: Originally serialized in The Strand Magazine in 1901, this is one of Conan Doyle’s best Sherlock Holmes adventures.

The story begins when Dr. James Mortimer visits Holmes with an ancient document that details the legend of a monstrous, giant hound that has plagued the Baskerville family for generations. Dr. Mortimer’s friend, Sir Charles Baskerville, recently died under mysterious circumstances. The arrival, from Canada, of the only remaining Baskerville heir is imminent. Dr. Mortimer is concerned for the life of the new arrival. Sherlock Holmes sets out to solve the mystery of the hound of the Baskervilles.

You might like it because: It’s a marvelous detective story with twists and turns, red herrings, the wonderful sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his right-hand man, Watson.

How quickly will you get into the book? The first chapter (5 pages) was interesting but a little slow and felt very old fashioned, which obviously it is. However, in chapter two, the story really kicks off, despite me having a vague recollection of what happens in the end because I watched an old black and white Basil Rathbone film a long time ago. I still found myself turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

You might not like it because: Today, villains and monsters in books and on film can be exceptionally scary, so the idea of a giant hound terrorizing a family might not be all that compelling for some readers. Also, the old-fashioned, formal English used by the author might not appeal to others.

What might you read next?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, so you might want to pick up a book by another Scottish writer born in Edinburgh: Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Alternatively, read a detective novel set in modern-day Edinburgh: The Falls, by Ian Rankin.

Or, if you enjoyed reading a story set in England in the late 1800s and tales of mythical creatures appeal to you, then try The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry.

© 2017

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