Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sherlock Files

Great minds think alike! Over at Project Mayhem, there is an interview with Tracy Barrett! Head over there to say hello!

The Beast of BlackslopeBarrett, Tracy. The Missing Heir. (Sherlock Files #2)
12 May 2009, Henry Holt and Company

Xena and Xander's family is on a short vacation from London. Their mother is interested in buying some items from an estate sale, so they stay at a bed and breakfast in the country. They hear odd noises at night, and find that Sherlock himself came to Blackslop one hundred years ago to investigate the very same creature. Using their detective skills and the help of new friends that they make in the area, the two consult old newspapers, Sherlock's notes, and the clues they can gather, and solve not only the mystery of the beast in their own time, but in Sherlock's as well. 

The Missing Heir (The Sherlock Files)Barrett, Tracy. The Missing Heir. (Sherlock Files #4)
7 July 2011, Henry Holt and Company

There's a lot of excitement when one of Xena's classmates, Alice, finds out that she is the heir to the throne of Borogovia. She's not overly excited about it, since she would rather go on the British version of American Idol, but her guardian  is pleased. Alice's parents were killed when she was quite young, and she has been raised by an aunt and a nanny, who has a daughter with whom she is friends. When Alice goes missing, Xena and Xander find that Sherlock was involved in a mystery concerning the disappearance of a baby in the royal family-- and the nanny at the time was an ancestor of the Alice's nanny. Again using the resources at their disposal, and with a little help from the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives, they once again solve both the new and the old mystery.

Strengths: These are a manageable length for younger readers, and have a lot of action and suspense without being gory or scary. Xena and Xander are appealing characters who rely upon their own skills but consult adults when they need to.
Weaknesses: A little too much coincidence for me in both of them, but that is sort of the point. The two try to solve the cases that Sherlock was not able to, and while doing so solve current mysteries.Hard to believe that several generations of a family served as nannies for another family, but it might happen!

It's been a while since The 100 Year Old Secret was published (Published May 27th 2008 by Henry Holt and Co.), and I like these new covers much better! I just got in book three, The Case that Time Forgot and need to read it!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review--and I agree about the new covers!