Monday, 16 December 2013

12:56 - No comments

Review: The Dark Lady by Irene Adler

The Dark Lady (Sherlock, Lupin, and Me #1)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

While on summer vacation, little Irene Adler meets a young William Sherlock Holmes. The two share stories of pirates and have battles of wit while running wild on the sunny streets and rooftops. When Sherlock’s friend, Lupin, joins in on the fun, they all become fast friends. But the good times end abruptly when a dead body floats ashore on the nearby beach. The young detective trio will have to put all three of their heads together to solve this mystery.

Expected Publication: February 1st, 2014

My Review:

(I received an advance copy from Capstone Young Readers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

The Dark Lady follows the story of a young Sherlock Holmes and his friend, Lupin, as they try to catch a thief and solve a murder. They find themselves entangled in these adventures alongside the fantastic narrator of the novel, Irene Adler.

I have been a Sherlock fan ever since I read an abridged version of The Speckled Band when I was still learning to read.  Sometime later I graduated on to the real version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and continue to be captivated by them to this day, whether on paper or on screen.  So naturally, I was immediately drawn to this book because it focuses on a young Sherlock Holmes and is told from Irene Adler's perspective, my favourite character.

I love how the young heroine is portrayed in this book. She is smart, witty, independent, lovable and caring all at the same time. These traits make her narrative that much more joyfully fun.  Because she is a young girl in the novel, the story touches on some typical middle grade problems such as what it means to act "ladylike", or what it feels like to be pushed to fit into society.  These plot lines enhance the relationship with her new found friends, Sherlock and Lupin and help the reader to identify with Irene Adler's humble role.  I really admire how she handles herself in certain situations and I think that she was written with the original characterization of Irene Adler in mind.

Her companions, Sherlock and Lupin, are just as entertaining as she is and the three of them complement each other nicely. When Irene is brave, Lupin is doubtful. When Sherlock is smart, Irene is witty. When Lupin is imaginative, Sherlock is realistic. The friends seem to fit together and enhance each other perfectly.    I was somewhat skeptical of Lupin's role at first because he seems to replace Dr. Watson who I am so accustomed to and I would have liked to have read this author's take on a younger version of the classic Sherlock partner. Nevertheless, as the story progressed I found myself really enjoying Lupin and was happy that his story was there.  

The continuous, friendly and animated banter between the characters makes this book very entertaining.  One of my favourite parts of the novel is when Sherlock and Irene are leaving Sherlock's house and a young Mycroft, his brother, yells at him out the window. Soon after, Irene comments on how good looking Mycroft is. I absolutely loved the little witticisms that the author entwines with the characters, giving them a flair of uniqueness while remaining true to the original story. It is really genius and very well done.

As far as how the mystery resolves, I think the solution falls a little flat. It is a little straight forward and somewhat anticlimactic. In spite of this, I really, really enjoyed this novel. It is an incredibly fun and lighthearted read and I had a very difficult time putting it down once I started reading. I would definitely recommend this book to any young reader who is looking for a good mystery story.  Fans of Sherlock Holmes are sure to love it.

I give The Dark Lady by Irene Adler 5 out of 5 stars.

Is The Dark Lady on your to-read list this winter?

Come back tomorrow for this weeks edition of "Top Ten Tuesdays"!

Stay nerdy,


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