Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

[Sherlock Holmes, The Legend Begins Book1]

Before he was the most famous detective in all of England and perhaps the world Sherlock Holmes was just a teenager. A loner who doesn't fit in well at his school, Sherlock looks forward to the summer holidays. But his father is off in India, his mother isn't well, and his older brother Mycroft is too busy to look after him. Ergo, Sherlock is unceremoniously sent to summer with his uncle in the country.

His uncle and aunt don't notice him. The housekeeper is inhospitable to say the least. Sherlock's summer isn't looking good until several things happen. He meets Matt Arnatt, he acquires a tutor, and two men die mysteriously. New friends and a mystery serve to enliven an otherwise dull summer holiday.

What I thought: I liked Death Cloud. Nothing can ever surpass the original short stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but this is a promising start to a new series. I liked that the young Sherlock Lane has created didn't spring from the womb with a highly developed analytical mind. At fourteen, he's an average boy. With the help of his brother, his tutor, and new friends, Sherlock begins to develop those skills that serve him so well in his later years. I look forward to reading the next book Rebel Fire, due out in the fall. The afterward was most informative about Lane's motivation and where he sees this series going. Interestingly, this series is authorized and endorsed by Doyle's estate.

On a side note, my two favorite derivative Sherlock Holmes' series are Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes series and Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series.

(FSG, 2010)

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