Crime Story based on the style of writing of

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1750 - 1900)

By Sonny

Mr Smith, who very often prided himself on his own eccentricity, was late again. As usual, he was immaculately refined, in his beige trench coat with a black and blue suit, his gold pocket watch just visible. I expected to find him, as usual, working on cases. However, on this occasion, he had left a note, detailing the route to a known opium den some three miles away. It was just on the outskirts of town but surrounded by dirt roads, with incoherent individuals roaming the nearby fields. Reasonably secluded, it had four stone walls and a large chimbley, constantly spewing a light grey cloud of smoke along with a remarkable stench. I expected to find him apprehending a suspect but as I walked in the room, I discovered him kneeling on the floor, his beige trench coat scraping a layer of grime off of the barely visible stone cobbles. The room was full of dense, hanging smoke, all I could breath was a dank, dense moisture, presumably from mould. As I observed, it looked as though he was searching for something, staring into his eyes you could see his ominous, black pupils dilated. He started to mumble, for a brief moment it was audible, a new crime maybe? I slowly inched closer, he then shouted, “we're going to be late for afternoon tea!”. Archibald Smith was more of a theoretician, highly capable in the process of examination and tracking.

Our headquarters, a small beige flat centered by a fine wooden mantelpiece. Smith proceeded to pick up his newspaper, without explanation of this morning’s antics, like usual. His jaw was slightly ajar, a remanence of foam flowing from the corners of his mouth. He handed me his diary, I flicked to today's date, 30th December 1899. His benevolent handwriting depicted a sense of horror, a show of spectrality. “What are you doing, sat there idle!” Said I. He replied with a slight murmur which caused him to faint.

There was a chimbley sweep outside, walking the road in an analytical pattern. Surely busy, but undoubtedly worried. Suddenly he turned off into an alley, blocked at one end by an old workhouse. I picked up my briefcase and walked out of the door, surveying the surrounding area there was nothing unusual. I crossed the dark, grey road and peered into the alley way. A pair of feet suck out, lifelessly from behind a pile of rubbish. The perfect opportunity to seek approval from my partner, Archibald Smith.

Staring over him it was obvious he was dead, yet he still looked alive. His head was topped with a reassuring cap, in his hand a solid sweep. I had came to the conclusion that the suspect of this murder was close, but as I turned to face the only exit I felt a tap on the shoulder, “what are you doing here benson?” Said mr Smith. I feeling relief and annoyance pierced my frontal lobe. I described the situation to Smith, my current conclusions to which he replied, “you excel yourself, but, you are a conductor of electricity, Not a motor which powers truth”. By this I realised that my conclusions were wrong and that he was about to give me a long explanation on how I had missed a small, crucial detail, like usual.

Commentary of my Crime Story

For my narrative product, I wrote in the style of Sir Conan Doyle’s ‘hound of the Baskervilles’. My audience would be adult fans of the crime genre and this series and my purpose was to entertain.

I firstly recognised that Sir Conan Doyle opened his narrative with the complex, subordinate, sentence structure “Mr Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late”, this was changed to, “Mr Smith, who very often prided himself on his own eccentricity, was late again.” This structure helped me to recognise that the audience was returning from previous books and that the main character was extremely important with no explanation needed of his role. This helped me to give the reader lots of necessary description without needless explanation.

The main style that I mirrored was Sir Conan Doyle’s use of 1st person description to help immerse the reader. I realised that he continued the first sentence with “I stood upon the hearth rug” and mirroring this style I changed this to, “I expected to find him, as usual”. This method of description allows for complicated, detailed description from a first person view, consequently making the reader feel as if they, themselves were there. This is used throughout my narrative and generally exemplifies character detail, helping to build the narrative as part of  the crime genre. The word “expected” also suggests that the relationship between the two is true to Conan Doyle's style.

When first drafting my narrative I realised that it lacked speech that The Hound Of The Baskervilles was full of. I then changed this to help immerse the reader. Furthermore, when first writing my narrative it lacked historical detail, the substance of the story which is evident in my style model. To fix this I used slight historical dialects like the word “chimbley” and other, more prominent features like industrialisation and an “old workhouse”.

I also noticed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave the main character a dominant personality which the lesser person sought to please. I adapted this to my story by changing Watson’s attempt to uncover a clue with Benson's attempt to solve a crime, “The perfect opportunity to seek approval from my partner”. This helps to showcase the true relationship between both characters as shown in Hound Of The Baskervilles.

I also used lexical strategies such as the adjective “analytical” to show his logical thinking pattern that was shown in my style model. This gives the impression that Mr Smith is highly intelligent as he thinks like a mathematician.