Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun, imaginative story; interesting main characters
Cons: Writing needs polish
The Bottom Line:
Fun take on Sherlock
Will create many young fans
With fast paced story
First in a Fun Series for Kids
What do you get when you combine Sherlock Holmes and steam punk and aim it at Christian kids? No Place Like Holmes, the first in a new series by Jason Lethcoe. I'm well outside the target audience, but I enjoyed it.
Griffin Sharpe is not necessarily looking forward to his summer in
with his uncle. For one thing, he's
never met the man. But along the way, he
hears that his uncle might be the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Since Griffin
has long thought of himself as a detective, he's thrilled.
It turns out his uncle lives at 221A
Baker Street. Rupert Snodgrass fancies himself a detective
and inventor, although with his much more famous neighbor, he has a hard time
getting any clients. He's not happy to
meet his nephew either.
brings his uncle a case. A woman needs
someone to find out what happened to her husband. Seems he was eaten by the Loch Ness monster
right in London. That couldn't be true, could it?
The setup of the novel takes a bit of time, but it's all information you need to understand
Rupert, and their relationship. Even
then, by a quarter of the way into the book, the mystery is under way, and once
that happens, the book really does become hard to put down. I'm just familiar enough with the Sherlock
Holmes stories to recognized a few of the characters who cameoed in the story,
and felt the author did a good job of tying things into the established myth.
The only real flaw with the book is the writing. Quite often we are told how characters are feeling, and it make it a little hard to fully immerse myself into the story as a result. Hopefully, as the series progresses, the writing will get polished.
Because did I mention the cliffhanger? The next book in the series is definitely set up in the last chapter, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
At the end of the book, there are two mini-mysteries to solve Encyclopedia Brown style (ending hidden and you have to figure out the clue that
caught). Plus there's a recipe for
scones you can make later.
No Place Like Holmes was an enjoyable book that definitely made me want to read more. Those looking for some good Christian books for their boys will be pleased with this series.