FICTION

A Study in Scarlet

Sweet Cherry. (Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection: Bk. 1). Nov. 2019. 216p. adapted by Stephanie Baudet. pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781782265757.
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Gr 3-6–In this first of the 10-volume “Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection,” Dr. Watson narrates the story wherein he first meets the eccentric sleuth. Returning to London in 1879 after a bullet wound in Afghanistan ended his career as an army surgeon, Watson decides to share lodging with Holmes, a strange man who conducts forensic experiments in a hospital chemistry lab. The two quickly plunge into their first case: who killed E.J. Drebber, an American whose body is found in an empty house? Colorful characters appear to add clues, bumbling police provide humor, but readers will be more intrigued by Holmes’s extraordinary talent for discerning obscure details and the team’s use of logic to solve mysteries than the solution itself. There are no chapter breaks, but droll full- and partial-page black-and-white illustrations liven up the text. Inset definitions of potentially unfamiliar terms keep the story moving along.
VERDICT A quick, fun read and an accessible introduction to a popular, classic British literary personality.

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