Sherlock Holmes for kids

2010-09-29 00:00

SHERLOCK Holmes still exerts a strange fascination a century after his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, pensioned him off to the countryside to keep bees. There have been biographies, pastiche novels, films, television series, plays, museums and solemn pilgrimages to the Reichenbach Falls to see where he famously didn’t die.

Now, with the authorisation of Conan Doyle’s estate, Andrew Lane has set out to introduce the great detective to a new generation. Three novels for the kids’ market are planned, taking young Sherlock through public school and university to his first meeting with Dr Watson. In this, the first in the series, Holmes is 14 and an unhappy schoolboy, taken off to unknown relatives for a holiday by his already adult brother Mycroft.

The relatives are gruesome, their housekeeper is worse, and bodies keep cropping up. But Sherlock enlists the help of Matty, a prototype of a Baker Street irregular, as he tackles the creepy (and creaky) Baron Maupertius, whose name will be familiar to Holmes buffs who are obviously also expected to have some fun with young Sherlock. Sherlock also has an American tutor, and the tutor has a pretty, tomboy daughter.

The intention is good but the plot is unconvincing — the origin of the “death cloud” was pretty elementary for a start. The young Sherlock seems to owe something to a certain Harry Potter : nasty relatives, horrible villains, teen angst and powerful self-reliance included. I suppose it’s entertaining enough if you overlook some alarmingly anachronistic language, and maybe it will bring a new generation to 221B Baker Street, though I have my doubts.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.