What are the features which make a good detective story? Analyse The Hound of the Baskervilles and comment on the elements which Conan Doyle employs to make it a classic in this genre. Detective stories have always been and will probably always be very popular, there are many features that make detective stories enjoyable for people. I will outline some of the main features that I believe are important to include to make a detective story good. One of the most important features which make a good detective story is having a large element of mystery to keep the reader guessing and interested in what will happen next.
Twists and turns in the plot also help to keep the reader interested in what is going to happen next. When a ‘red herring’ is thrown into the plot then it throws the reader off track and can confuse them but the author always explains and makes sense out of what has happened, this is another feature that keeps the reader interested. The main detective always is a step ahead of everyone else, this is to show that they are clever and read into the clues better than anyone else, this makes the reader respect the detective and enjoy reading the story.
Cliffhanger endings are a good way of making the reader keep reading; if chapters close with a cliffhanger ending then it adds more mystery to the novel. Popular detective stories get the reader feeling like they are actually part of the investigation. With whatever crime has been committed, the clues are revealed to the reader as the detective and his accomplice or accomplices discover the clues to help the investigation. The reader is gripped to the novel due to these features but these are only some of the important ones which make an exciting and enjoyable detective story.
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s novel The Hound of the Baskervilles was originally published as a novel in 1902, and even though it is over 100 years old it is still a very popular book and one of the only Conan-Doyle books not to be out of print. Around the time of 1902 it was an age when many people were interested in historical matters to do with their ancestors. Most of the popular books in this age were in the supernatural and detective genres. The Hound of the Baskervilles was first done in series in a magazine from August 1901 until April 1902, and each month the chapter would end with a cliffhanger.