The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the four Sherlock Holmes Novels. Most fans and critics believe it to the be one of the very best Holmes stories. It was first published in The Strand Magazine, in serial form in nine parts, eight years after Doyle “killed off” Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem in 1893. Doyle brought Holmes “back from the dead” in 1903, when The Empty House was published. However, The Hound of the Baskervilles came out in 1901 but was set in a time frame prior to Holmes’ misadventure in the Reichenbach Falls, his disappearance, and presumed death. The new novel filled a big gap in popular culture of the time, and each issue was eagerly awaited. Circulation of The Strand Magazine jumped enormously with its publication. Magazine stands and bookstalls in London were crowded with anxious buyers on the publication days.
The story was published in nine parts, so there were eight “breaks” in the action. As in any serial, whether in a newspaper or magazine, on TV or in the movies, it was a common strategy to try to hook the reader or viewer by ending each episode at a point of high suspense. Readers of The Strand Magazine had to wait a month for each new one.
If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you already know the story and the plot. If you have not read the book, beware, spoilers ahead! The challenge here is for you experienced Sherlockians to think over the story, or re-read it, and try to identify the eight stopping points. Answers are given in the subordinate page entitled Break Points in Baskerville. AND NO PEEKING !
(If you have not read The Hound of the Baskervilles, go and read it, with this challenge in mind. The first break will be obvious, and will probably make your hair stand on end.) You can find all the stories on-line in the Sherlockian Link in the sidebar, Doyle’s Works.