Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins
Andrew ‘Andy’ Lane
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
Originally published in the UK as “Red Leech”
Ever since mom started watching Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes on PBS, we have become enamored of his stories! While searching for a book whose title begins with “R” I came across this one in the library. It is the second one in the series and although I was lost in the beginning when the author referenced events that happened in the first book, I quickly caught up. The year is Sherlock is on the trail of an American assassin whom was thought to be dead. What is he doing in England? And why are those other violent men with him? And, what is so special about the small box they are transporting as well?
*Sherlock Holmes, of course, in his early teens but already showing the mind of the genius that is to come. He over hears an conversation between his brother, Mycroft and his American tutor, Amyus Crowe regarding this American assassin, wondering why he’s in England. They talk about a place where this man may be staying so Sherlock and his buddy, Matty, take off on horses to check the house out. As a result, Sherlock is almost killed, Matty is kidnapped and taken to America, with Sherlock, Amyus and Virginia, Amyus’ teen daughter following close behind. Once in America, Sherlock and Virginia set out to rescue Matty only to be kidnapped themselves, barely escaping death at the jaws of some komodo dragons. Interested? I hope so!!
*Matthew “Matty” Arnett, Sherlock’s best friend. He is kidnapped by the bad guys to keep Sherlock from chasing after them. They take him to America and promise to let him go once they’re sure they’re not being followed (yeah, right, they’ll probably kill him!).
*Amyus Crow, an American who is tutoring Sherlock as a front for working as a secret diplomat to England.
*Virginia Crow, Amyus’s daughter, whom Sherlock is attracted to but is unable to act on those feelings.
*John Wilkes Booth, the quintessential American assassin, thought to be dead, is very much alive and very insane.
*various henchmen, Grivens, Berle, Ives, Rubinek, all crazy men ready and willing to kill.
*Duke Balthassar, really crazy man who is going to use Booth as a figure head to swell the Confederate Army’s ranks and attack the Union again. He is ruthless, gross, inhuman and inhumane.
This book is really good. Adventure, intrigue, very fast pace and Sherlock – what’s not to love? There’s a lot of foreshadowing of the adult Holmes’ skills of deduction and thought process. On a side note, this series is the first Young Sherlock Holmes series to be endorsed by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate! I can’t wait to read the other books!!
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws
I had to include a photo of B.C. – I’ve got a bit of a mancat crush on him!!