Book Review: The Young Sherlock Holmes Series
Young Sherlock Holmes
By Andrew Lane
As a reviewer and Holmes enthusiast, I’ve read a vast number of Sherlock Holmes novels meant for adults, and I’ve encountered quite a few meant for children. The Young Sherlock Holmes Series by Andrew Lane, of which I have several volumes, is somewhat unusual because it fits into the middle, with a preteen to teenaged target audience similar to Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Series. (I should point out that these books are unrelated to the Young Sherlock Holmes film from the 1980s.)
Through the stories, Lane provides a rich sensory experience, introducing the young reader to period-accurate details of life in the late 1800s. I was particularly struck by the visceral description of life in a boys’ boarding school. As the action intensifies, the reader is carried along by this attention to detail, through mysteries that will stretch the imagination and give the reader a chance to unravel the truth along with Sherlock Holmes–mysteries that are just gruesome enough, but not too much for the older preteen or teenaged reader.
Speaking of Holmes, his character is well fleshed out and develops in a believable way toward the dichotomies of reason and emotion in his personality. As with any book that explores the detective in his early life, certain decisions have to be made about what, exactly, made him who he is–an issue that most who write about the adult Holmes can either skirt or avoid altogether. Lane’s decisions have structural integrity within the story and build toward the character we know and love. Additionally, the richly-drawn world of Young Sherlock Holmes is complemented by complex original characters and believable appearances by familiar ones.
Some of the events depicted in the series are likely to be too intense for the youngest readers, but preteens, teens, and adults who enjoy reading about the early life of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy detailed stories and the beginning of the career of a remarkable character. Recommended for the young and young at heart, this series is still being written, and more volumes are expected.
Learn about the world of Young Sherlock Holmes and purchase the books here
The above-reviewed work was provided for consideration by the publisher. Opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.
Amy Thomas is a book reviewer, freelance essayist, and author of The Detective and The Woman mystery novel series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, published by MX Publishing. She holds a degree in professional communication and is an avid knitter, geek, and grammar nerd. Amy blogs about Sherlock Holmes at Girlmeetssherlock.wordpress.