February 4, 2011

ARC Review: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins, #1)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 1, 2011)
ARC: 306 Pages
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins #1
Book from Publisher*
From Goodreads. It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

Review by Kate
DEATH CLOUD, by Andrew Lane, is a great beginning to a new series which explores the life of Sherlock Holmes as a fourteen year old boy.

Mystery books rarely enter my TBR pile, but when asked to review a Sherlock Holmes novel I could not resist. I always enjoyed the characters in the original works and I was interested to see how much of that Lane put into his new novels. The character of Holmes, even as a young teen, was a pleasure to read. Holmes was a very curious boy but his sleuthing skills were magnified with the help of his side-kick, Matty, and American tutor, Amyus Crowe.

Lane molded a young Sherlock Holmes and created a character that you can visualize turning into the classic character. Crowe taught Holmes how to ask the right questions to get satisfactory answers. The relationship between teacher and student was refreshing and added the importance of education. I also enjoyed the relationship between Matty and Sherlock. They were from different social backgrounds but their commonality in crime-solving made them quite a pair. Although I do admit I missed the absence of Watson! But, my favorite character had to be Virginia. Where Holmes is a male icon, Virginia is definitely a strong female-icon. Her 'American' ways were exploited to make her desirable to Holmes, but she definitely gave him a run for his money!

Overall, I think this series is a great introduction to the classic character of Sherlock Holmes to a younger generation. Lane created fabulous characters and a great mystery. I look forward to the next one!

To read more about the series and author, check out the Young Sherlock Holmes Website!

*FTC Disclosure: I received this ARC from the publisher. I do not receive payment of any kind in exchange for a review. I do not receive monetary compensation from any book links in my review.

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