Variations on Sherlock


I’ve always loved the idea of Sherlock Holmes. I’m not a super fan who has memorized everything about the world and mythology (although since I live in Switzerland, visiting Reichenbach Falls where Holmes staged his own death is on my bucket list!), so I’m not particularly critical about interpretations. I love both BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary. This summer, I read two MG series that expand on the world that I recommend for other fans looking for some quick, fun reads.

The first is the Enola Holmes Mysteries series by Nancy Springer. Told from the point of view of Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister, Enola tries to find a place for herself as an unorthodox young woman in Victorian England. Her mother disappears, and she tries to uncover what happens to her while learning to live on her own terms and to avoid her well-meaning brothers, who would provide more conventional support for her. There are six books in all, each with a self-contained mystery and a piece of the larger mystery about her mother, which ties the series together.

The second is the Young Sherlock Holmes series by Andy Lane. There are five books thus far and more to come. Lane attempts to answer the question of how Sherlock Holmes became who he is and begins with him as a fourteen year old. How did Holmes develop his powers of deduction? Learn martial arts? Get hooked on opium? These stories are both mysteries and adventures with a few bigger themes connecting the novels, including a shadowy organization that serves as his nemesis and several questions regarding his family.

I recommend both to young mystery lovers. As a kid who adored everything from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to The Three Investigators, Encyclopedia Brown, and Einstein Anderson , I would’ve loved these series.

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
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