Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Sherlock Holmes, just thirteen, is a misfit. His highborn mother is the daughter of an aristocratic family, his father a poor Jew. Their marriage flouts tradition and makes them social pariahs in the London of the 1860s; and their son, Sherlock, bears the burden of their rebellion. Friendless, bullied at school, he belongs nowhere and has only his wits to help him make his way.

But what wits they are! His keen powers of observation are already apparent, though he is still a boy. He loves to amuse himself by constructing histories from the smallest detail for everyone he meets. Partly for fun, he focuses his attention on a sensational murder to see if he can solve it. But his game turns deadly serious when he finds himself the accused — and in London, they hang boys of thirteen.

I've had this one sitting around since late last year and I'm now wishing I had picked it up sooner.  This was a fascinating look into the childhood of one of literature's favorite characters.  Now granted, this may not be the childhood Sir Arthur Conan Doyle envisioned for Sherlock Holmes, but it worked for me.

This was the story of a lonely, introverted young man who would rather be in a town square observing others than in the school he didn't feel comfortable in.  He is highly intelligent but doesn't seem to care about much other than his parents who are outcasts from society for their unconventional marriage.  That all changes when the murder of a young woman grabs his attention from the pages of a newspaper specializing in sensational stories.  He is of the mind that maybe he can put his skills to the test and solve the murder on his own, but when his actions inadvertently cause him to become a suspect in the case, he must use those same skills to save himself.

When he is befriended by a young woman, who becomes his first friend, he realized that their is more at stake than his own life or the life of the young man who is in jail waiting trial for the killing.  He is forced to utilize every resource at his disposal which puts them all in danger.  His new friend, the gang of youths who help supply him with information, and even his own mother are now in danger and only Sherlock can figure a way out of it.

I'm in awe of this story and of the way that Sherlock solves the case, as wild of the ride Sherlock takes to discover the truth, not once does it come across as unbelievable.  Even when crows are used as eye witnesses, this story never enters the realm of over the top.  I don't want to get into too much detail since I don't want to ruin the story for you.  I will say that I was engaged from start to finish and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. 

This will qualify for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.


Anonymous said...

You really didn't have to say much more than Sherlock Homes as a thirteen year old to sell me. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one.

Cecelia said...

I'm with Carol! I clicked over because of the title, but the concept sounds really interesting. Nice review!

The Cozy Mystery Journal said...

I have The Secret Fiend on my shelves (it's book 3 I think) and I think I'm going to bump it up the tbr. These books sound awesome. I definitely have to hunt down the others.

Deb said...

I am going out to pick this up. It sounds so wonderful. Sherlock Holmes thirteen, awesome.

Stephanie said...

This character sounds like one I'd love. :)

Staci said...

This one does sound great. Is it YA or adult? I like the idea of Sherlock Holmes as a teen!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Ryan, I have an award for you here:

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

This sounds like a great read! I am so glad you enjoyed it so. And I know the feeling when you have had a book laying around for a while and finally get to it, just to find it was an amazing read. :) Great review!