‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the most successful stories of the master mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The novel, by all accounts, is a classic. It features a fearsome gigantic hound and an old family curse. The central character, Sherlock Holmes, is a famous detective, renowned for outwitting many of the world’s most crooked criminal minds. But this time, he and his companion Dr. Watson are on one of their most complicated cases ever.

After the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, Dr. Mortimer approaches Sherlock Holmes to investigate the case and to make things easier for young Sir Henry Baskerville, the next heir of Baskerville Hall. Dr. Mortimer introduces them to the curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles which is believed by superstitious people as the cause of the ill-happenings at Baskerville Hall. But instead of going there himself, Holmes sends Dr. Watson to accompany Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall to ensure his safety. Even though not as brilliant as Holmes, Watson tries his best and provides a first-class account of the mysterious happenings at Baskerville Hall, including his suspicions on Mr. Barrymore, the servant. In the middle of all these chaos, Sir Henry meets Miss Stapleton, the sister of their neighbor, Mr. Stapleton, and falls in love with her. This makes friendly Mr.Stapleton angry and arrogant. With the mysterious sightings of Selden, an escaped convict and a stranger, on the moor, things take a rapid turn. Soon the stranger reveals himself to Dr. Watson and Watson receives the shock of his life when he realizes that the stranger was Sherlock Holmes in disguise. Now that Sherlock Holmes is back at Baskerville Hall, things happen in a faster pace. Holmes had his doubts on Mr.Stapleton, which proved right when in an attempt to kill Sir Henry using his ferocious pet hound, Stapleton accidently kills Selden, the escaped convict. When Stapleton becomes aware that Holmes and the others are on his trail, he escapes to the Great Grimpen Mire, a deadly bog. There ends the story of Rodger Baskerville, who under the fake name Stapleton, tried to kill each Baskerville using his pet hound and the ferocious hound which was shot. Thus the so-called curse also meets its end.

In this story, Holmes proves that deductive reasoning is a more powerful weapon than superstition. A wonderful combination of plot and mood, this book is sure to give you the chills. Without further thought I can rate this book 5 out of 5, not only because of the brilliance of Holmes and the mysterious background, but also because of the unique angle at which Holmes views things, which made him exceptional. My favourite character is of course Sherlock Holmes. Indeed, he is the greatest detective the world has ever seen. This book is a must read and I especially recommend this to all those who wish to read captivating novels which keep you engrossed till the end.

Reviewed by Gauri G. L.

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