✰✰✰✰½ This is the third installment in a YA series featuring Sherlock Holmes as a teen. "Vanishing Girl" follows Holmes on a quest to solve the case of missing socialite, Victoria Rathbone, before Scotland Yard or his arch enemy Malefactor can find her. The young lad is discouraged when at first it seems that Scotland Yard has bested him, but then he notices and overlooked detail in the ransom note. Perhaps it is a clue? Holmes decides to follow up on it even though it may be a long shot. When Victoria appears to have been kidnapped a second time, Holmes is hot on the trail. Will he win the fame he so covets? The ending may surprise you.
This is an excellent mystery with lots of twists and turns. The relationships between Holmes, Irene Doyle, Malefactor and the young Lestrade deserve mentioning. Their interactions are filled with rivalry and teenage angst which young adults can relate to. Also, this mystery takes place during a dark period in the young man's life, his mother having recently died. We find Holmes living at Sigerson Bell's apothecary. The eccentric Bell is both a mentor and father figure to the young lad which adds to the development of Holmes’ character.
The Bottom Line: This is a fast paced mystery with lots of adventure and thrills. It is not necessary to have read the books in order. Background information is readily supplied so you can start with any book in the series. This clever book is great fun to read. I'm looking forward to reading the others, and I hope to find them under the tree this Christmas. Highly recommended for mystery fans of all ages, but especially for young adults ages 13 and up
Details: Vanishing Girl by Shane Peacock. Published by Tundra Books in 2010. 335p. ISBN: 978-1-77049-234-9