‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Arthur Conan Doyle: A Review

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Crime, Classics, Gothic
First Published: 1902
Pages: 214

When a seemingly impossible crime is committed, everyone relies on the infamous Sherlock Holmes to solve the case, but never before has Holmes been asked to solve a crime that appears to have been committed by the supernatural…

When Dr. James Mortimer walks into 221b Baker Street, neither Holmes or Watson quite know what to make of the remarkable case that is laid before them. Dr. Mortimer has come to ask Holmes to look into the death of his wealthy friend, Sir Charles Baskerville. Sir Charles suffered from nervous problems an d had a weak heart, so his death, though sudden, was not out of the ordinary. What was unusual however, was the gigantic hound paw-prints the doctor had noticed near the body, which supposedly belonged to the hound of the Baskervilles, a supernatural fiend that haunts the family, due to their rogue ancestor.

Intrigued by the case, Holmes sends Watson to Devon with the last remaining Baskerville, Sir Henry, who has just arrived from America. The pair reside in the Baskerville house in the wild Devonshire moors, while Holmes stays in London to deal with another case. The moors are a lonely, dreary place, which Sir Henry has been warned about exploring on his own. Watson is left in charge of Sir Henry’s safety, but with an eerie howl echoing across the near-deserted moors, and the few neighbours not always appearing as they seem, can Watson keep Sir Henry safe from threats that are very real, whether they come from a natural or supernatural opponent?

This is the first Sherlock Holmes book I have read and the first thing that struck me about it was its readability. The writing style was really easy to read, so for anyone who is put off classics because of their complex wording, you don’t have to worry about this in this book!

I was intrigued in the storyline from the very beginning, as the mention of the Baskerville ghost hound was not something I would expect to find in a Sherlock Homles story! It was incredibly interesting listening to Holmes reveal his bizarre (yet correct) explanation of events at the end of the novel, which only a master like Holmes could uncover.

It was particularly interesting to see Watson conducting the investigation on his own while Holmes was in London, as he had an opportunity to show off the skills that he had picked up from his companion. And, as in all good crime novels, everything was ironed out at the end of the novel, including the seemingly trivial disappearance of a boot.

I thoroughly enjoy my first ever taste of a genuine Sherlock Holmes, and I will be embarking on the entire collection before long! This is definitely one book that I would recommend to everyone.

Favourite Quote: Sadly I didn’t make a note of one as I was enjoying the book too much!

Rating: 9/10

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16 thoughts on “‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Arthur Conan Doyle: A Review

  1. Zen says:

    This is one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes books. The ending was really quite surprising! You should consider watching the movie adaptation too – it’s pretty good. =D

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Yes I didn’t quite know what to expect at the end! It was really good though! I think I have seen bits of the film but I have never sat down to watch it all…I will have to give it a go!

  2. sula1968 says:

    This came free on my new e reader and I’ve been wanting to read it. I was concerned about the readability but after reading your blog I will get to it as my next read

  3. A. Wright says:

    I read through the entire series this summer, they are all very fast, easy and enjoyable reads. Sula1968 can find the order on wikipedia, that’s how I kept track 😀

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      I did! I thought I would, I usually enjoy most of the books I read for uni and the Gothic module was one of the reasons why I chose Hull Uni! I’ve had to wait until my third year but it was definitely worth it!

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