By: Murray Shaw and M. J. Cosson
Publisher: Graphic Universe
publication Date: November 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
Sherlock Holmes had his magnifying glass out and was looking closely at a bowler hat with a curled brim when Dr. Watson walked through the door of 221B Baker Street. The good doctor thought perhaps the hat had “a horrible story attached to it,” but Holmes assured him that it was simply part of another mystery he wanted to solve. Mr. Peterson, the train station master, had seen an elderly man who had been on his way home after Christmas very early the next morning. He was “carrying a goose and three hoodlums were trying to take it from him.” The old man shot his walking stick at them, but it missed and it went through a window. Fearing that Peterson was a policeman, everyone scattered. The only thing left behind was the goose and the hat.
Of course Mr. Peterson gave Holmes the hat because he had a knack for finding clues in things that others would overlook, but he kept the goose. Holmes began to tell Watson all about the owner of the hat. It belonged to a well-to-do man named Henry Baker who had fallen on hard times, a man who had a great deal of self-respect, did not appear in public very often, and was married to a woman who obviously did not care for him much. Anyone else would have simply seen an old battered hat. It was decided that they would put an ad in the paper to see if Henry wanted to claim it.
The mystery quickly began to deepen as Mr. Peterson rushed though the door. He was in a very excited state as he showed the two men a fabulous gem he found in the goose’s throat. It was none other than The Countess of Morcar’s Blue Gem. There was a thousand-pound reward out for its recovery and one man had already gone to prison for its theft. The clues began to quickly mount, but Holmes already had deduced an innocent man was behind bars. Was Henry Baker somehow in on the caper? He began to question several others who might be implicated in the robbery. Could Holmes figure out who actually stole the Countess’s Blue Gem with only a hat and a dead goose in hand?
The brilliant Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are poised to solve the mystery of the Blue Gem with only a few clues. Young mystery lovers will enjoy solving this mystery with a classic detective, Holmes, and his right-hand man, Dr. Watson. With every turn of the page this mystery deepens, yet the reader isn’t totally kept in the dark as many of Holmes’s clues are explained. This isn’t a high action mystery, but rather one with many twists and turns, all of which are eventually explained. The artwork is very appealing and looks like something out from the late Victorian era. In the front of the book is a brief “biography” of Holmes and his sidekick and the history of the book series. In the back of the book there are several recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you have a youngster who enjoys mysteries à la Holmes with lots of twists and turns, you might want to check out this series!