Historical fiction, Mystery

The Adventure of the Deceased Scholar ,The Adventure of the Murdered Gypsy by Liese Sherwood-Fabre

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I have read the first book of this series and was looking forward to the next. We have a young Sherlock Holmes recovering from his adventures to clear his mother’s name. His mother is not quite the character depicted in the Netflix show Enola Holmes but borders on that. In this instalment, we find him on the verge of going back to school and entertaining his cousin at home.
I liked the tone of the narrative, and young sherlock makes for a very believable precursor to the character we know from the original. The plot of the mystery in this is slightly convoluted, there are a lot of branches, and multiple things are happening simultaneously.
I will not go into the plot points because the story is better with the full picture being viewed as a whole (or so I think). The narrative is constantly moving forward, as is Sherlock’s increasing knowledge of understanding how the world works. The cousin was a delightful addition, and I would love to see him reappear in future additions!
It was a quick, one-sitting read, and I moved onto the next instalment quite quickly.

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In my reviews of the previous two books, I have established my comfort in reading this version of Sherlock as a child because it feels faithful to the original.
Despite his trepidations, he had to return to school, and this story plays out in a breaktime when his mother comes down to London and stays at a house there. This is slightly different from before because the family is not directly connected to the case but is literally dragged in to solve it. The characters are more fleshed out, and we see the behaviour of all members of the Holmes family in different scenarios. There is a lot more action and nail-biting moments before the final scenes leave us with an idea of where we will go next. I will not talk of the mystery itself because it begins innocuously enough but starts to get convoluted from the minute the Holmes family get involved. This means that it is best if I do not unknowingly give away anything to a prospective reader.
The focus here is not only on the plot at the centre of it all – the mysteries but also the social behaviours of the time. We see how Sherlock figures out his role and that of his family in the larger London picture compared to a small town where his family holds more sway. Once again, a quick read which is always a pleasure because you do not have to wait long for the story to wind its course.
I recommend this series to anyone on the lookout for retellings (of a sort) of older classics. Simple mystery lovers would probably enjoy it as well!


I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the reviews are entirely based on my own reading experience of the series as a whole.

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