Communicating from its awe-inspiring pages, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hound of the Baskervilles is breathtakingly unique. Sherlock Holmes, created in 1901, still stands today as one of the most prominent figures in literature, unequivocally eagle-eyed, and armed with his resplendent brain. Published fortnightly in the strand magazine, along with other articles and stories, it managed to stand out with its one of a kind glow. Often acclaimed as the best Sherlock Holmes long story, the hound of the Baskervilles formed when Conan Doyle and W.W.Robinson went on a golfing holiday to Cromes. It started when Robinson mentioned an old country legend. Within a couple of hours a sensational plot for an awe-inspiring story was formulated. Hence the hound of the Baskervilles. Doyle called it a ‘real creeper’ to his mother.
There are many elements that the detective genre contains. Frequently the detective has a foil or a less able sidekick-like assistant. This element of detective fiction helps to provoke the idea that the brilliance of the detective is unmatched by anyone except, usually the villain. The Alex Cross series by James Patterson contain the main detective, Alex Cross, and his foil Sampson. In the hound of the Baskervilles there is Holmes and his foil, Watson. There is always a seemingly perfect crime. In the hound of the Baskervilles there is the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville which is seemingly perfect. In the Alex Cross book, along came a spider, the kidnap of 2 celebrity kids is the seemingly perfect crime. However justice almost always prevails, meaning that the culprit/s in both books are caught, but in along came a spider only one child survives the ordeal, meaning justice didn’t prevail entirely. There are many red herrings in the detective fiction genre especially in the Alex Cross book, along came a spider.
The detectives think the case is solved when they catch the criminal that committed the crime at first. What they don’t realise is that other criminals have used the original criminals plot against him. One single detective may have habits unique to him or her. Sherlock Holmes has his pipe and brilliant mind. Alex Cross has his ‘unmatched respect’ and stubbornness. The main detective may have greater powers of observation or/and a superior mind. In along came a spider, only detective Cross notices certain things that no one else finds suspicious. Sherlock Holmes notes everything he can in his mind that he observes or thinks.
A mysterious atmosphere is created to add a twinge of suspense and tension. In Alex Cross there are various places which seem dark and murky. In Sherlock Holmes there is the moor. Finally there is a startling and unexpected denouement which in were the criminal is revealed and the process in which the detective took to reveal that criminal is explained. In the Alex Cross series it is on a private beach were the detective walks with the criminal while having two men recording what she says.
We expect our preconceived expectations of a detective are that they have greater observation, more advanced brains, unique habits and a weaker minded foil and possibly deception to suspects of what really is going on. Holmes’ presentation compares to this because he has many unique habits and does deceit his suspects as well as allies, ‘Excellent Watson! And how did you localize me? You saw me perhaps on the night of the convict hunt, when I was so imprudent as to allow the moon to rise behind me?’
This shows that Holmes had been in hiding, deceiving everyone that he was in London. Also Holmes has a very brilliant mind and eagle-like eyes. But his foil (Watson) is weaker minded, however this is not a problem for him as he knows many of his partners methods, ‘our researches have evidently been running on parallel lines…’ The Holmes and Watson relationship reinforces Holmes’ characterisation because it shows an unusually strong bond between the two. ‘
For when I see the stub of a cigarette marked Bradley, Oxford Street, I know that my friend Watson is in the neighbourhood.’ Conan Doyle’s language usage creates, in some minds, a sense of a near heroic figure in Holmes this is shown in the line, ‘never have I seen a man run as Holmes that night.’ This line shows Holmes standing out, being the only one with ‘blink-of-an-eye’ reactions.