Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: 'Becoming Holmes' by Shane Peacock

✰✰✰½ The Boy Sherlock Holmes is growing up, but growing up isn't easy. The year is 1870, and the place is London. Holmes finds the world rapidly changing around him. He has just suffered the loss of his father, and the great author Charles Dickens has died. Irene Doyle now lives in America, and Beatrice Leckie has found another suitor.

At 16, Holmes suffers from bouts of melancholy. He struggles as he searches to find himself and define a role for his future. So he is only too happy when he reconnects with his older brother, Mycroft. However, it is during one of these visits that Holmes spies Grimsby, who is now employed by the government and uses the alias Ronald Loveland. Suddenly Holmes realizes that only Malefactor can be behind this. As people start to turn up dead and another is blackmailed, Holmes resolves to get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, Holmes is still living at Sigerson Bell's apothecary. Bell has been his mentor in recent years, but Holmes knows this chapter of his life may soon come to a close as well. Bell is very ill, but despite his limitations, he continues to guide Holmes to adulthood. It is with Bell's help that Holmes begins to using disguises in order get around London unnoticed. Soon Holmes finds himself being catapulted through a series of events that will shape him into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character. Before this case is solved Holmes will have tied up many loose ends with people from his past and will have found his mission in life.

The Bottom Line: As the last book in the series, Becoming Holmes is both an end and a beginning. Although the first few chapters start slowly, the pace picks up quickly. The Boy Sherlock Holmes has grown up along with his readers. I've enjoyed reading along as the character of Holmes has faced many trials and tribulations that have molded him into the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This final installment is dark and moody and filled with teenage angst which young adults can relate to. The adventure includes many twists and turns and a surprise ending that I didn't see coming. Both young adult and adult mystery fans will enjoy the last case of the Boy Sherlock Holmes. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series is a great introduction for those interested in reading the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Details: Becoming Homes: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Final Case by Shane Peacock. Hardcover published by Tundra Books in 2012. 264 p. ISBN: 978-1770492325 NOTE: I received a complimentary copy from Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing.

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