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Examining the Timeless Mystery Novels The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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Throughout the years the characters and plots of mystery novels have evolved and have been modernized. However, no matter when or where the novels are written, they all succeed in having major impacts on the unsuspecting readers. For some mystery fans, the opening of the book can awaken the butterflies in the pit of their stomachs. As the stories progress, the reader is drawn further and further into the novel until it becomes impossible to pry the book from their hands. Mystery novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens are not exceptions and are overflowing with suspenseful scenes. The mysteries The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Mystery of Edwin Drood arouse excitement and encourage the reader to continue to read until the resolution of the conundrums. Throughout the novels, characters undergo many important developments, while their relationships and the historical context greatly influence the mystery.

The characters grow and interesting transformations occur as a result of the conflicts born from the mysteries. This is evident as the protagonists take on unusual roles as detectives to assist in resolving the mystery. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes begins by perceiving the mystery of the ghostly hound as a child would take a light-hearted fairytale. However, as the case becomes more dangerous and Holmes arrives at Dartmoor, he begins to take the situation more seriously. Once Holmes realizes the severity, he says, “We owe you a deep apology, Sir Henry, for having exposed you to this fright” (Doyle 150). This is the first time Holmes admits that he has made a mistake and misjudged the peril of the situation. He should not have used Sir Henry Baskerville as bait, as he did, in hopes of...

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Dickens, Charles. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. New York; Oxford World’s Classics, 1999.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles. London; Penguin Classics, 2003.

Frayling, Christopher. Introduction. The Hound of the Baskervilles. By Arthur Conan Doyle. London: Penguin Classics, 2003: i – xliii.

Hawes, Donald. Who’s Who Dickens. London: Routledge, 1998.

Hunter, Nigel. Charles Dickens. Sussex: Wayland, 1988.

Orel, Harold. “Critical Essays on Sir Author Conan Doyle.” Sherlock Holmes, Order, and the Late-Victorian Mind. Selected by Christopher Clausen. New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1992.

Redmond, Christopher. A Sherlock Holmes Handbook. Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1993.

Symons, Julian. “Criticism by Julian Symons.” DISCovering Authors. 2003. Discovering Collection. Gale. Markham Public Libraries (CELPLO). 31 Mar. 2009 .
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