Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Greyhound of the Baskervilles: A New Take on A Classic Mystery (Greyhound Classics Book 1), by John Gaspard (adapter), Arthur Conan Doyle (author)

Albert's Bridge Books, January 2019

This is Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles," only slightly altered. This time it's narrated by a previously unmentioned character, Septimus, Holmes' rescue greyhound. It's Septimus who tells us the story this time, and being a dog, he often has useful bits of information that he can't easily share with the humans. Being a greyhound, this is sometimes fine details seen at a distance, such as the little hooks holding on the fake beard of the man in the cab who had been following Sir Henry Baskerville.

Septimus accompanies Watson, when they travel to Baskerville Hall with Dr. Mortimer and Sir Henry, and they quite competently do their job of keeping Sir Henry safe while getting acquainted with the neighborhood. The story doesn't change except in details, and in Septimus' heroic role in the climax of the story.

But I have to say that I really like Septimus, who is very much a real dog, with the alertness, observation skills, and attitude you'd expect of a good greyhound. I can't claim this is an essential read for a Holmes fan, but I enjoyed it.

If I do have one complaint, it's the same one I have about Doyle's original. The thing I object to is unchanged from the original--the fact that Mortimer's expert knowledge of and enthusiasm for bone and facial structure, amply demonstrated on his first visit to Holmes at Baker Street, means that he could not possibly have overlooked the vital clue that Holmes found when he finally visited Baskerville Hall. And if he noticed, why didn't he tell Holmes? It suggests the possibility that he played some role i the plot, or the villain had something on him that kept him quiet. It's very odd, and frankly bizarre that Holmes seemingly never picked up on that inconsistency. Part of me demands an explanation, but I still love this story. And, of course, Septimus. I love Septimus.


I bought this novella.

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