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The Hound of the Baskervilles :: Crime, Scandal, Spectacle

The Hound of the Baskervilles


Andrew Lycett describes The Hound of the Baskervilles as a mix of a traditional Sherlock Holmes investigation into the death of the Baskerville heir, with a more sinister fantasy about a terrifying spectral hound (283).  The novel opens in London where Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, are attempting to identify the owner of a cane that has been left in their office.  Using his powerful observation and deductive reasoning skills, Sherlock predicts that the owner is Dr. Mortimer.  Soon, Dr. Mortimer comes and recounts the myth of Hugo Baskerville, who fell victim to a terrifying hound after pursuing a girl across the moor at his estate in Devonshire one night.  Another Baskerville, Sir Charles, has recently died, raising new questions and fears.  Holmes and Watson agree to take the case, which is further complicated by the arrival of the next of kin, Sir Henry Baskerville.  Watson and Sir Henry travel to Devonshire where a series of mysterious events quickly unfold.  After some time, Watson discovers that Holmes has been in Devonshire the whole time under disguise, attempting to solve the case.  While observing family portraits in the dining room one night, Holmes makes a critical observation.  Mr. Stapleton, a neighbor in Devonshire, eerily resembles Hugo Baskerville.  Holmes comes to the conclusion that Mr. Stapleton must be a Baskerville, making him the prime suspect.  In a dramatic final scene, Holmes and Watson create an elaborate trap for Stapleton and solve the mystery.  Back in London, Holmes and Watson tie up the loose ends of the case, with Holmes connecting all the people and events to form one cohesive narrative.

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