Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: The Great Shelby Holmes: Girl Detective by Elizabeth Eulberg & Illustrated by Matt Robertson - Book Review

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.
When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both of their talents to crack.

2016 has seen a large number of mystery/detective books being published for children around the world. This is a new series to look out for which is set to be published in the UK in Jan 2017 by Bloomsbury, it can already be purchased in the US. It is a BRILLIANT book which will add a very welcome voice, to this every growing genre. This is the first title in the series and features some amazing illustrations produced by the wonderful Matt (green fingered) Robertson. 

The book cover is brilliant; it captures the story inside very well through the bright, colourful and really appealing graphics. The story is an easy read which will suit many readers including those with a short attention span. The plot is captivating and you will find yourself unable to put the book down. The narrative is short and snappy and the main character, Shelby Holmes, is an absolute joy to read. She is a brilliant character - distinctive and very socially awkward - just like the real Sherlock Holmes. The relationship that plays out between her and John Watson is heartwarmingly portrayed, whilst their developing friendship might make you chuckle in unexpected places. You will encounter some silly Holmes-type jokes scattered about like clues on a dangling lead that may make you laugh or cry. At the very least, your sense of humour will be sorely tested. 

The book brought back some nostalgic memories of my time in New York City earlier this year. The author knows this city very well as she moved from Wisconsin to New York City in pursuit of a writing career. The first few chapters instantly transported me back to my time on holiday; it left a yearning fantasy to go back and walk the streets of Manhattan with the characters and play super sleuth myself. 

This is a dog kidnapping caper that will lead your super sensitive nose through a very enjoyable fantasy adventure. All the characters you associate with a good Sherlock adventure can be found: Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and, of course, Mrs. Hudson. All are caught up in action like you've never seen them before. In contemporary Harlem (NYC), a mystery needs solving around every corner. Fortunately, nine-year-old super sleuth, Shelby Holmes, is on tap to deal with and solve these. This is a great and engaging read that will keep you on your toes. 

No comments: