Book Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Image result for the hound of the baskervillesThis is my 3rd book for the 2018 Back to the Classics challenge – I’m actually ahead for the first time ever! Plenty of year left to either keep up or crash… here’s hoping I achieve it this time around!

After I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None in February, a friend and I got in a conversation about the reading she requires of her homeschool students. She highly suggested I read this one, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, next. Believe it or not, I’ve never read a Sherlock Holmes novel. I know VERY little about the character, except for an episode of some spin off show my mom was watching. It was past time to educate myself on this corner of the literature world. I’m counting this novel for the category, “Classic by a New-To-You Author.”

An ancient curse haunts a wealthy family: due to an ancestor’s terrible deeds, a massive hound from hell exacts revenge upon the family. After the untimely death of Sir Charles, the new heir visits Sherlock Holmes to hopefully avoid the same fate. Things go missing, people sneak around, and Holmes sends Watson off to keep an eye on Sir Henry while he remains in London handling other matters. Until the critical night arrives and all becomes clear at last.

The novel is interesting to me for how little Sherlock Holmes is actually in it. He’s around in the beginning and the end, but the entire narrative is told by Watson. Watson is present in Dartmoor; Watson is finding clues and following leads; Watson is taking risks and writing Holmes about them. Holmes is only noticeable by his absence. Obviously he is the one to pull all the threads together – his name is on the cover after all. But I believe Watson deserves far more credit than he receives!

I’m torn on this novel. Although it was engaging and well written, I think I’m just not a mystery novel fan. Once again, the “debriefing” at the end really annoyed me (It bothered me in And Then There Were None as well). I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads but I’m not intending to grab any other mysteries for a while. Two is enough for one year.

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