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We owe 1902'sThe Hound of the Baskervillesto Arthur Conan Doyle's good friend Fletcher "Bobbles" Robinson, who took him to visit some scary English moors and prehistoric ruins, and told him marvelous local legends about escaped prisoners and a 17th-century aristocrat who fell afoul of the family dog. Doyle transmogrified the legend: generations ago, a hound of hell tore out the throat of devilish Hugo Baskerville on the moonlit moor. Poor, accursed Baskerville Hall now has another mysterious death: that of Sir Charles Baskerville. Could the culprit somehow be mixed up with secretive servant Barrymore, history-obsessed Dr. Frankland, butterfly-chasing Stapleton, or Selden, the Notting Hill murderer at large? Someone's been signaling with candles from the mansion's windows. Nor can supernatural forces be ruled out. Can Dr. Watson--left alone by Sherlock Holmes to sleuth in fear for much of the novel--save the next Baskerville, Sir Henry, from the hound's fangs?

Many Holmes fans prefer Doyle's complete short stories, but their clockwork logic doesn't match the author's boast about this novel: it's "a real Creeper!" What distinguishes this particular Hound is its fulfillment of Doyle's great debt to Edgar Allan Poe--it's full of ancient woe, low moans, a Grimpen Mire that sucks ponies to Dostoyevskian deaths, and locals digging up Neolithic skulls without next-of-kins' consent. "The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one's soul," Watson realizes. "Rank reeds and lush, slimy water-plants sent an odour of decay ... while a false step plunged us more than once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, which shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet ... it was as if some malignant hand was tugging us down into those obscene depths." Read on--but, reader, watch your step! --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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review by . March 02, 2011
When Henry Baskerville, the last remaining scion of the family, travels from Canada to England to take up residence in Baskerville Hall after the puzzling violent death of his uncle, Sir Charles, he is immediately greeted with a string of baffling mysteries not the least of which is the legend of an enormous hound residing on the moors in Devon. Dr James Mortimer, family friend to the Baskervilles, engages Holmes and Watson to advise and protect Henry and to resolve the issue of the hound's …
review by . April 16, 2011
He has many followers. From Marple to Millhone, from Rebus to Rockford, from Scarpetta to the Scooby Gang. When it comes to the sciences of investigation, detection and deduction, Sherlock Holmes is the original, and still the best.      In The Hound of the Baskervilles, we see the reason for this - both in his unforgettable presence, and his unfortunate absence.      We see in the first few pages how the presence of Holmes drives the story forward, unrelentingly …
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