The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century
A Composite List and Ranking
by Brian Kunde


<- Doyle, Arthur Conan, 1859-1930.
         Full name: Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. Scottish author born in Edinburgh, best known as creator of the popular characters of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger; he himself most valued his historical novels.
  • <- The Hound of the Baskervilles. 1902.
             Detective Sherlock Holmes is called in to investigate the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, seemingly slain by a family curse involving a hellhound. Busied with other cases, Holmes sends his assistant Dr. Watson ahead to Baskerville Hall on the Devonshire moors with the heir, Sir Henry. Watson's inquiries are inconclusive until Holmes joins him. It is ultimately revealed that the hound is a real dog painted in phosphorus by Jack Stapleton, a long-lost Baskerville relative, in a bid to kill off the legitimate heirs and claim the estate. The novel is one of just four Doyle wrote featuring Holmes (there were numerous short stories), and the most successful, likely due to its eerie mystery and setting and the timing of its appearance. It marked his first use of the character since "The Final Problem" (1893), in which Holmes had been killed off. While represented as occurring prior to that story, the novel's popularity persuaded Doyle to explain away Holmes's "death" and resurrect the character. The story has been adapted to radio, film and television on innumerable occasions.

Posted Dec. 10, 2013, and last updated Dec. 10, 2013.
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Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.