The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
Release date: September 6, 2016
An e-galley was provided by the publisher in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: Meet spunky sleuth Shelby and her sports-loving sidekick Watson as they take on a dog-napper in this fresh twist on Sherlock Holmes.
Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen—always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.
When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. Easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Sherlock is big in YA these days, and now middle grade is no exception. It was refreshing to read a middle grade Sherlock remixing, mostly because most YA adaptations end up being just so dark and heavy. Of course, not everything is light in The Great Shelby Holmes, but overall, it was a fun romp that I could see many middle grade readers loving.
I especially liked Watson. He was just so great and normal, and I thought his voice was strong. Shelby grated on my nerves just a little, but not Watson. I enjoyed the references to other Sherlock things. Overall, though, there was just that lack of connection that I need to love a book. The writing does read pretty young, which was a little disappointing.
As far as mysteries go, this one was pretty simple and for some reason, I assumed there would be multiple dog-nappings which I think I would've preferred to the actual plot line. That would've made the book a lot longer, though, and perhaps too complicated for a middle grade book, but I don't know if I could say that for certain.
The Great Shelby Holmes was very clean across the board.
The Verdict: It was good. I'm just not the target audience, so I didn't love it as much as I would've liked to.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Hmm...probably not.