by Shane Peacock (Canadian author alert!)
Tundra Books, 2007
The first in a new series called the Boy Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes is a 13 year old boy. He's not too interested in school, though it's not due to a lack of intelligence. There are just too many people problems there. He'd rather be out in London, reading the Illustrated Police News, and knowing what's going on in the world.
Sherlock's parents married for love, and life has not been easy, but they are intelligent individuals who have instilled a love of learning and observing in their offspring. When a woman is murdered and a suspect jailed, Sherlock is drawn into the case. The picture of the woman in the newspaper looks remarkably like a young version of his mother, and when Sherlock goes to the Bow Street Jail to see the suspect admitted, the accused makes eye contact with him and insists that he did not commit the crime. The police witness the communication and assume that Sherlock must somehow be an accessory, and the boy must prove his own and the other's innocence.
Lots of action, great historical and setting detail; cliffhangers at the conclusion of every chapter. Makes for a wonderful read-aloud. Highly recommended for boys and mystery lovers of all ages.