The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A classic. Book number 7 out of 12 for my 2022 book project. Dr. Watson is sent to the moors to watch over the last heir of the Baskerville family after the violent death of Sir Charles Baskerville. They are trying to find out whether the family curse, a hound who has been haunting the family for generations, is what really did him in or if it was a different sinister character altogether.

I knew that seclusion and solitude were very necessary for my friend in those hours of intense mental concentration during which he weighed every particle of evidence, constructed alternative theories, balanced one against the other, and made up his mind as to which points were essential and which immaterial.

There are so many classics out there that is hard to figure out where to start. I decided to Google classic novels that were short and choose from that list. This was my first Sherlock Holmes book and it certainly will not be my last! There are so many tv shows and movies based on the books and it is easy to see why after reading one. The series is composed of 56 short stories and 4 novels. They are not written chronologically so the books can be read out of order.

There were pride, valor, and strength in his thick brows, his sensitive nostrils, and his large hazel eyes. If on that forbidding moor a difficult and dangerous quest should lie before us, this was at least a comrade for whom one might venture to take a risk with the certainty that he would bravely share it.

Holmes is only in the first and last section of the book. There is a lot of dialogue in the first part of the book and a lot of descriptions in the rest of it. Watson does most of the watching and investigating and sends his report to Holmes for him to look over. Watson is like Holmes’s spy. Each part of the book is important even if it doesn’t seem so at the time so you must pay attention to each little detail. That kind of writing always make me happy and if an author does it well their books will become one of my favorites. If you didn’t already know, Watson is the narrator for the entire series of novels. Sometimes I felt bad for him and the way Holmes treats him but it also makes for some funny and eye-rolling moments. I’m sure that if I read more of the books I will find out more about their relationship.

“No mention of that local hunt, Watson,” said Holmes with a mischievous smile, “but a country doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man in this world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons a London career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your room.”

There are so many surprises that it keeps you guessing the entire time. The way Holmes puts together every piece of evidence at the end is thrilling. His mind works in mysterious ways, which can get other characters quite riled up. I think that because Doyle is so good at keeping the suspense throughout the entire read, his books have been so beloved all these years and continue to be so. There is a little of the supernatural in it, some unsavory characters, and clever sleuthing. What more do you need in a mystery book?

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