Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 1st Case

Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 1st Case

Shane Peacock
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Tundra Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-0887768507

Sherlock Holmes cannot help feeling that he was meant to have more in life than what he has been given. Living in one of the poorest parts of London and barely scraping by on what his parents can earn by giving music lessons and by working at the Crystal Palace, is a life which Sherlock desperately wishes he could escape from. Often, instead of going to the sad little school that his parents can barely afford, thirteen year old Sherlock crosses the river and spends his days observing people and reading the sensational "The Police News."  Not fitting in anywhere because of his mixed parentage, Sherlock is almost always alone. The son of a Jew and an outcast aristocrat, he is exceptionally bright and is able to tell a great deal about people just by looking at them.

One day he reads about how a lovely young woman was brutal murdered in an alleyway. He cannot help being intrigued and he goes to see the accused murderer being taken to prison. The accused turns out to a very young Arab man who speaks to Sherlock as he is lead past the boy. He says "I didn't do it" and Sherlock finds that he believes the man. Sherlock cannot bear to think that this young man is going to be hanged for a crime that he did not commit and he decides to look into things a little.

He begins by examining the scene of the crime and a pair of crows leads him to find a glass eye. Unfortunately he is not able to follow up his investigations after this important find because the police arrest him on suspicion of being involved in the murder. He has been seen hanging about the scene of the crime to often.

Luckily a young girl and her father from The Society of the Visiting Friends of London come to the prison soon after Sherlock is incarcerated. Sherlock quickly discovers that Irene Doyle is not your typical Victorian young lady. She is educated, liberated, and determined to help him seek justice. In fact she goes so far as to help Sherlock escape and then gives him food and shelter while he sets about trying to solve the murder in earnest. What neither one of them is prepared for is the deadly and murderous desperation of the person who killed the lovely lady in that dark alleyway.

Beautifully crafted and carefully told to keep the reader completely engrossed and engaged, this excellent title in the new Boy Sherlock Holmes series is sure to delight both those readers who have not yet got to know Conan Doyle’s famous detective, and those who know him intimately. Readers who know the older Sherlock will be delighted to find out how the great man came from humble beginnings and why he became devoted to the cause of justice.