Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars: The Fall of the Amazing Zalinda

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars: The Fall of the Amazing Zalinda

Tracy Mack, Michael Citrin
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Scholastic, 2009   ISBN: 978-0545069397

Many people fancy that they know all there is to know about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. What most people don't know is that in addition to having Doctor Watson to help him, he also has a group of street urchins on his side who collect valuable information for him. Holmes calls these boys the Baker Street Irregulars. Led by Wiggins, a boy with a big and courageous heart, the boys are experts at following suspects and asking questions.

One day the boys notice that a very special visitor has come to see Holmes. Indeed they recognize that Holmes' newest client is none other that the Prince of Wales himself! Something big must be going on. They are therefore rather puzzled when Holmes asks them to go to a circus. It turns out that three tight rope walkers have died under suspicious circumstances and it is possible that their deaths have something to do with Britain's heir to the throne.

Soon the boys are caught up in a dangerous race to catch the ruthless criminals who stole a priceless treasure from the Palace and who seem happy to kill with impunity.

In this wonderful mystery novel young readers will get to meet a fascinating cast of characters from Victorian London. They will come to appreciate Sherlock Holmes' famous deductive methods, and they will also get to know some extraordinary children who face their daily struggles for survival with humor and courage. Readers will get a real feel for what it was like to live in Victorian London; among other things they will experience London's famous fogs, the harshness of life for the poor, and the fascinating inner life of a circus.