Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson journey to unpopulated regions of bracken and fog to solve a mystery at an isolated manor house.
The air is gaining a hint of chill, putting me in the mood for both spooky things and mysteries. I blame Scooby-Doo for twining the two so closely together in my mind. Now seemed like the perfect time to pull out the classic Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
In this mystery, Holmes and Watson are presented with the death of a nobleman, who seems to have died of fright upon possibly seeing a spectral hound said to be tied to his family bloodline since the time of a wicked ancestor. A friend of the dead man hopes that Holmes might get to the bottom of things and find a less supernatural explanation before a similar fate may befall the new heir to the estate.
The novel is a prime example of the sort of puzzle plot that Doyle made so popular as to become the foundation of the mystery genre to this day, paired with a wonderful Gothic atmosphere. Add the brisk length to that (the Signet Classics edition I read came to less than 250 pages), and you have a wonderful bit of light reading for a cozy day curled up with a mug of something warm as we settle into the cooler part of the year. If you enjoy classic mysteries and haven’t read this one yet, or haven’t read it since it was required reading for a class, I’m here to tell you that it is worth the hype of people still talking about over a hundred years after its first publication.
- Catherine, Cataloging Associate