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Barrett presents readers with great characters and a believable mystery solved credibly (with the help of somewhat less-than-convincing photographic memories).A strong start to what will undoubtedly remain an enjoyable series. Review: Barrett introduces a pair of protagonists with immediate appeal for young readers.
The mystery itself is very simple, and the characters never face any real danger or violence, making this a great selection for newly independent chapter-book readers as well as slightly older mystery fans.
Once they’ve finished this quick-paced adventure, readers can continue to follow the Holmes siblings in three more series installments: The Beast of Blackslope, The Case that Time Forgot, and The Missing Heir.
This is the first in what promises to be a very entertaining series of books about two young people who follow in the footsteps of their illustrious ancestor, Sherlock Holmes.
Young readers who enjoy mysteries are sure to enjoy this interesting tale.
Can two smart twenty-first— century kids succeed where the celebrated Sherlock Holmes could not?
Tracy Barrett is the author of numerous books and magazine articles for young readers.She was born in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York State.Barrett holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University…The leader of the group then gives them a book containing Sherlock Holmes’ unsolved cases, and the children decide to try their hand at solving one of them.Apparently, a famous painting disappeared in March of 1907.Recommend to: Fans of mystery and adventure ages 8-12. Upon moving to their new home in London, siblings Xena and Xander Holmes immediately discover a strange but true fact: They are the direct descendants of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and have inherited his casebook of unsolved mysteries.Because they are American kids newly arrived in London, explanations of British culture and customs come up naturally in the narrative, rather than as awkward exposition for the reader.Nods to the original Sherlock Holmes stories are sprinkled throughout and sometimes explained (the saucer of milk for snake reference slips right by, but the Irregulars get a quick description).One might think it presumptuous of two children to assume that they could succeed where the legendary sleuth had failed, but, kids being kids, they do not and find themselves almost immediately wrapped up in a case involving a missing painting.Following leads, conducting interviews and applying a little old-fashioned know-how help the Holmes kids discover the truth behind the portrait’s mysterious subject and the location that has kept it safe and sound all these years.