Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: The 100-Year-Old Secret - Tracy Barrett

Synopsis: "Go to The Dancing Men and ask for a saucer of milk for your snake. Then all will be revealed."

That's all the note says - before the ink disappears! Xena and Xander Holmes think living in London will be boring. But when they discover they're related to Sherlock Holmes and inherited his unsolved casebook, life becomes much more exciting.

The siblings set out to solve the cases their famous ancestor couldn't, starting with the mystery of a prized painting that vanished a hundred years ago. Can two smart twenty-first-century kids succeed where the celebrated Sherlock Holmes could not?

Review: For kids who have just discovered the wonders of Sherlock Holmes and are now amateur Sherlockians, this is a terrific series to encourage that obsession. Well-written and containing enough little alludements to satisfy any fan, The 100-Year-Old Secret starts this series off with a swift kick. It wastes no time in the beginning, but launches straight into . . . . well, everything. For the most part, Xena and Xander are not horrible, but I wish they showed more interest in history-type things. Why do kids who don't care about that sort of thing always the ones who end up being related to some famous historical or fictional person?! It drives me crazy, and it always has.

The main problem I saw with this book is the resounding lack of villains. For a first installment in a series, that can be looked over, but if it persists in the other installments, then already I see a major problem with this series. The bottom line is you can't have mysteries - especially if they are unsolved Holmes cases - without villains! It just doesn't work.

However, I have hopes for this series and look forward to reading the next one. Until then, I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

Star Rating:  

Others in The Sherlock Files:
1)The 100-Year-Old Secret
2)The Beast of Blackslope
3)The Case That Time Forgot
4)The Missing Heir

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