Book Reviews

The Hound of the Baskervilles: a Sherlock Holmes Mystery

hound baskervilles cover

The Hound of the Baskervilles: a Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Martin Powell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (QUICK READS 741.5973)

The new series of Sherlock that debuted on New Year’s Day is causing much excitement, but the original Sherlock Holmes was just as big a star. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels about the Great Detective and he has appeared on screen in more than 200 adaptations. The character was so popular that when Conan Doyle killed him off, the fan outcry made him resurrect Holmes (reluctantly).

The most iconic story of Sherlock Holmes is The Hound of the Baskervilles, a spooky mystery involving a famous piece of British folklore: the hellhound (recognisable from Norfolk legends of Black Shuck). This graphic novel adaptation is faithful to the original plot, as Holmes and Watson are dispatched to bleak Dartmoor to discover the truth behind the death of an aristocrat – a death that his nephew is convinced is the work of a great black hound called down by an ancient curse.

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Despite Holmes’ insistence that there must be a human evil at work rather than a supernatural one, the story remains wonderfully creepy, with murder and folklore making a gothic mystery. Conan Doyle was brilliant at well-plotted mysteries, and The Hound of the Baskervilles is a masterpiece of strange clues, unexpected twists and a good dose of pulse-pounding action, all of which are enhanced by Martin Powell’s smart adaptation and haunting art style.

Powell cuts through a lot of the complicated bits of the story without making it any less intriguing by changing some of the events so they happen ‘onscreen’ rather than off. He also provides helpful sections at the end with a glossary of unusual words, talking points, background on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, and inspiration for writing your own Sherlock Holmes stories.

If you want to get into the original Great Detective, this is one of the best ways to do it!

If you liked The Hound of the Baskervilles: a Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Try some of Arthur Conan Doyle’s other Sherlock Holmes stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (BOOK ZONE 823.91) – I particularly like The Adventure of the Speckled Band.

Have a look at the famous film adaptations (including The Hound of the Baskervilles) in Sherlock Holmes – the Definitive Collection (BOOK ZONE 823.91). Basil Rathbone is considered by some to be the best Sherlock Holmes on screen!

Get your spine tingled by other graphic adaptations of classics: look in our Quick Reads section for titles such as Dracula and Frankenstein (QUICK READS 741.5973).

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