The Classics Club: The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

I enjoyed reading The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle in September so much that I barely managed to wait a month before going back for another mystery. Next I picked up The Hound of the Baskervilles, the third Sherlock Holmes novel.

Dr James Mortimer comes to Sherlock Holmes with a legend of a diabolical hound out on the moors that hunts all the Baskerville descendants, in revenge for a murderous past deed. Mortimer has lived many years out on the moors and had never taken much store in these superstitions before until the shocking death of his good friend, Sir Charles Baskerville. He hopes Holmes’ can get to the truth and protect Henry; the heir and last remaining Baskerville. Holmes is intrigued by the case but is busy working on another so he puts his trust in Dr Watson. Who returns with Mortimer and Henry to the lonely Baskerville Hall on Dartmoor to investigate further.

I loved getting to explore this intricate and supernatural mystery with Dr Watson. As much as I enjoy the workings of Holmes’ mind and find his eccentricities fascinating. It is Holmes’ companion Dr Watson I am most drawn to. The down-to-earth narration of Watson is what makes these stories more relatable for me. To have a whole investigation where he took the lead was wonderful. Holmes isn’t too far away though because Watson is in constant contact with him and it is through these letters we see a lot of the facts unfold. There is also a twist to come later in the book!

I think this may now be my favourite Holmes mystery. I loved the foggy, lonely moors, scattered with the remnants of ancient inhabitants, with the isolated Baskerville Hall stranded in the middle of it. Doyle really builds a creepy atmosphere and that is even before the hound comes on the scene, which is described as large, dark and vicious by any locals who have had the misfortune to see it. Plus it seems to be able to frighten you to death! This was a great mystery with an interesting collection of characters who are all thrown together because of the loneliness of their situation.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a creepy and atmospheric mystery which I simply loved. A cosy and comforting read for autumn and the R.I.P event. I highly recommend to fans of Sherlock Holmes and those who enjoy classic crime. Sadly I only have The Sign of the Four  left to read. Great read.

Have you read this? What is your favourite Sherlock Holmes story?

The Classics Club – 36/50
R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X – 4/4

New Books: October 2015

New Books - October 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s the goodies I’ve managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M. C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by M. C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin: There Goes the Bride by M. C. Beaton

It has been months since I found some gems in The Works but I’ve still been going in for fear I might miss something if I didn’t. My faith paid off because they had the first four books of M C Beaton’s hilarious Agatha Raisin series plus one later book too. I really look forward to rediscovering this series. Then to make up my numbers for the 3 for £5 deal I chose Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. I haven’t read any of this series however I’ve heard great things about it.

The Queen’s Choice by Anne O’Brien

Out of Darkness by Stormie Omartian

I received historical fiction The Queen’s Choice and Christian memoir Out of Darkness from Netgalley. Okay I have a lot of galleys and I had told myself I needed to stop requesting! But…I have read and loved several of Anne O’Brien’s and Stormie Omartian’s books over the last year or so.

Have you read anything by these authors? What new books have you got your hands on recently?

The Classics Club: The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear

My result for The Classics Club’s last Spin feature was The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle; the fourth Sherlock Holmes novel. I was pleased with this result, as I have really enjoyed previous Holmes stories. Plus with Autumn setting in, here in the UK, I thought it is the perfect time to be reading this.

This tale is broken down into two parts, like A Study in Scarlet. In the first part the famous, private detective Sherlock Holmes is still on the trail of criminal mastermind, Professor James Moriarty. During his investigations Holmes receives a coded message, that leads him to the murder of John Douglas at Birlstone Manor House. Holmes and his faithful companion Dr Watson set off at once to investigate further. Then in the second part we are taken back 20 years. To Vermissa Valley, USA to see the events that led to this murder.

As in previous Holmes stories I just loved delving into Doyle’s intricate mystery and witnessing the chemistry between his two protagonists.  As much as I find the workings of Holmes’s mind and eccentricities fascinating. It is Holmes’s companion Dr Watson I am most drawn to. The down-to-earth narration of Watson is what makes these stories more relatable for me. In this mystery it was good to see Watson play an integral part and get a chance to uncover evidence for himself.

Through The Classics Club I have enjoyed all five Holmes short-story collections. Years before the club I read A Study in Scarlet; the only other Holmes novel I have read. I have preferred the short-story format, because I was able to read a whole story in one go. Easily keeping the thread of the mystery, and all the twists and turns. However now having read this I feel I might have been a bit hard on the novel format. Doyle has very cleverly broken the mystery into two parts. The first part is very similar to his short-story; it contains just the mystery. The difference being that then part two gives you the history and background to the mystery. I thought it helped the reader to get to know the victims and criminals of the mystery too. By the end of this I found I enjoyed it as much, if not a bit more than some of the short-stories.

The Valley of Fear was another fascinating mystery, which I flew through. Perfect for Autumn. I highly recommend to fans of Sherlock Holmes and those who enjoy classic crime. I look forward to reading The Sign of the Four and The Hound of the BaskervillesGreat read.

Have you read this? What is your favourite Sherlock Holmes story?

The Classics Club – 34/50
R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X – 1/4

Adaptations: May 2015

Adaptations #2

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched during May:

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
An action-packed superhero adventure based on Marvel characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and sequel to The Avengers (2012). The team must work together to defeat one of Stark’s creations, Ultron, that’s gone disastrously wrong. Another enjoyable watch with impressive special effects, high octane pace, epic fight scenes, and more amusing one liners. The regular cast are also joined by some new faces too. Good watch.

Paddington (2014)          Not Read     Film     Apple TV
British, family adventure based on Paddington Bear by Michael Bond. I haven’t read any of the stories but I have fond, childhood memories of the BBC’s Paddington series. A young bear comes to London from deepest, darkest Peru to London seeking a new home. A fun, modern adaptation of this loveable character and his comical adventures. Good watch.

The Enfield Haunting (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
British, supernatural drama based on the true life events, recounted in This House Is Haunted by Guy Lyon Playfair. Paranormal investigators, Grosse and Playfair, try to help a family in 1977, who are being plagued by scary phenomenon. A case which is to become known as ‘The Enfield Poltergeist’. I had heard of this case and it was fascinating to find out more about it. A ghostly, mystery with a strong ensemble cast, including Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall, I watched all 3 episodes in a row! Great watch.

City of Ember (2008)         Not Read     Film     Television
Science-fiction, family adventure based on Jeanne DuPrau’s novel. Humans have been living underground for over 200 years but as the generator starts to fail, two young friends must find a way to escape. Sadly this film was a flop at the cinema so the rest of the series wasn’t made. I enjoyed it though. It was a gentle and fun adventure, far less gritty than the more recent young adult, dystopian tales. Okay watch.

Atlantis (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The 2nd half of series 2 of the BBC’s fantasy adventure based on Greek mythology. The legendary hero Jason, and his friends Hercules, Pythagoras, and princess Ariadne fight evil to protect the legendary city of Atlantis. A fun and thrilling series. The only problem being they introduced the Argos and the legendary journey at the end of the series, however the show has just been axed…so we will never know! I will miss this series. Good watch.

Inspector George Gently (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The 7th series of British, crime drama based on Alan Hunter’s Gently novels. I love the atmospheric and nostalgic 1960’s setting which is brought to life so realistically in this series. I also love the relationship between Gently, his sergeant Bacchus, and PC Rachel Coles, wonderfully portrayed by Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby and Lisa McGrillis. Great watch.

May has been a really good month of films and TV shows. I have enjoyed old favourites like Paddington, Atlantis and Gently, and then new discoveries too. These are just the adaptations I finished though. I am still watching the 4th series of Grimm and the 5th series of Game of Thrones. Plus I have the 2nd series of Sleep Hollow and Penny Dreadful, and the BBC’s new drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell to start. I look forward to sharing with you what I watch in June.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?

New Books: April 2015

New Books - April #1

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

Guy Martin: My Autobiography by Guy Martin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I was lent all of these by a book loving, family friend. I have rather a soft spot for Guy Martin having watched and loved several of his TV shows on history, machines and speed so I hope I will also enjoy his autobiography. I have also recently enjoyed the two film adaptations of Veronica Roth’s Dystopian series so I am looking forward to reading these.

New Books - April #2

The Quarry by Iain Banks

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Blood on the Bayou by D J Donaldson

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Quarry and The Martian have been passed on to me now my father has read them. I sadly still haven’t read anything by Banks perhaps this could be my first and I’ve heard lots of good things about The Martian. Then I was lent The Miniaturist by my mother with glowing praise for how much she enjoyed it. And finally I received a copy of supernatural, crime Blood on the Bayou for my Kindle from the publishers

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

The Classics Club: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

I have become quite a fan of short story collections and I hope to continue reading more in 2015. Starting as I mean to go on I picked up The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle the fifth and sadly the final collection.

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes is a collection made up of another twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories Arthur Conan Doyle wrote and published in The Strand between 1921 and 1927, much later than previous stories. I think this is perhaps the less well known collection of stories although The Sussex Vampire is probably the most notable story just for its title.  I very much enjoyed The Sussex Vampire, The Creeping Man and Thor Bridge. That being said as usual there were no adventures in this collection I didn’t enjoy, they were all fascinating, the three I have named though particularly captured my imagination.

Like previous collections I have read I thought The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes had a good range of stories which were varied and well-balanced. There was again the wonderful chemistry between the two protagonists that I love to witness during the intricate mysteries. The difference with this collection was that two of the stories was told by Holmes himself not, as is usual, by Watson. While this made an interesting change I still find myself most drawn to Holmes’s companion Dr Watson. As much as I love the mind and foibles of Holmes it is his down-to-earth companion Watson that I find I really connect with.

This is certainly not my first foray into Sherlock Holmes. I have loved the Adventures, Memoirs, Return of Sherlock Holmes and His Last Bow short story collections. I again enjoyed the shorter length of the stories which means I could easily keep the thread of the mystery and fully enjoy all the twists and turns, without the worry of needing a break. Sadly though this is the last collection. I shouldn’t be despondent though because I do still have three novels to read.

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes is another fascinating read with more interesting adventures for me to discover. I highly recommend to those interested in classic crime. This is my 30th read off my Classics Club list. Good read.

Have you read this collection? Do you have a favourite Sherlock Holmes story?

New Books: March 2015

New Books - March 2015 #1

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

I picked up these lovely copies of these classics in a recent trip to my favourite charity bookshop. I have read Little Women and A Study in Scarlet before, and I am looking forward to reading The Hound of the Baskervilles for The Classics Club.

New Books - March #2

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Bringing Narnia Home by Devin Brown

The Rise of Thomas Cromwell by Michael Everett

I received paranormal fiction The Book of Life, non-fiction Bringing Narnia Home and historical non-fiction The Rise of Thomas Cromwell for my Kindle from Netgalley. I am really looking forward to all three. Especially the latter as I have not long finished watching the BBC’s Wolf Hall series which has wetted my appetite to find out more about Thomas Cromwell.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J K Rowling

Then last but certainly not least I picked up this Harry Potter first edition with original cover art from another antique shop. I just couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted it. I now have a full set of the series with the original cover art, sadly not all first editions but they do look great on my bookshelf.

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?