If you have read the About page, you will know that as a child, I read all the classics, as well as everything Sherlock Holmes I could get my hands on.
So when my 12 year old son brought home Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 1st Case by Shane Peacock for a school book report , I was absolutely thrilled. As soon as he read it, I took it and read it as well and we had great discussions about it. This lead him to go to the library and get more of the books out and eventually read the whole series.
I am a fan of any means to get a child to read! This is a no brainer for preteens. Sherlock Holmes has always been a popular character, and that popularity has reached a fever pitch with hit movies and hit TV series featuring this enigmatic character.
Shane Peacock is a Canadian author and his series of 6 Young Sherlock Holmes books has resulted in him winning some 50 awards.
And for someone like me, a long time Sherlock fan, it is easy to wonder exactly how a man like Sherlock became a man like Sherlock! The Eye of the Crow, Sherlock’s first case, attempts to answer that very question.
In this first in the series of boy Sherlock books, we find out that he is the product of a mixed marriage, the son of a Jewish intellectual and his high born wife, once the daughter of country squires. Because of this marriage, the daughter has been disowned by her parents and they become social outcasts living in poverty. Young Sherlock bears the brunt of this social discrimination.
The year is 1867 and in nearby Whitechapel a young woman is brutally murdered. The only witnesses, a pair of squawking crows. The police immediately arrest a young Arab and prepare for a hanging. Sherlock cannot resist visiting the scene of the crime and while there discovers evidence.
The case would be closed except that young Sherlock cannot accept the police version of events based on the evidence he has observed and that famous insight he has in his observations of people and their behaviors. He skips school to start building a case and then ends up getting arrested himself based on knowing too much about the case.
In this first case, we watch Sherlock lose his beloved mother and make an unlikely friend from an upper class neighborhood, Irene Doyle. We meet Detective Lestrade, who takes credit for solving the crime and we see Sherlock as a boy who is a loner. He is not accepted by the neighborhood boys because he is an oddity, nor is he accepted by his schoolmates because of his mixed background. We see a level of repressed anger that motivates him to excel. With the death of his mother and his expected fame and glory taken away by Lestrade, he takes a step toward becoming the most famous detective in the world.
I am fascinated to see how Peacock molds the character that will someday become the most eccentric detective of all time.
What will the next case for bring for young Sherlock?