Primary Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery, Middle Grade, Classics
Published: 25 July 2019 by Sweet Cherry Publishing
Page count: 121
My Format: eARC via NetGalley
Cover: Cute, appealing to kids
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy A Study in Scarlet
My rating: ★★★★☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
Body thought to be that of E. J. Drebber discovered last night in empty London house. No obvious cause of death. Address given as Cleveland, Ohio. Any information would be appreciated.
After a mysterious murder leaves the police baffled, the world’s best amateur detective is asked to investigate. Along with his fellow lodger, Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes sets about uncovering a quest for revenge that runs far deeper than anybody suspected.
This book is described as part of a “fun series” that “adapts the classic mysteries of Holmes & Watson for young readers, and makes the perfect introduction to whodunit fun for ages 7 and up.” Here are my pros and cons for A Study in Scarlet:
- This is a definitely a sanitized, PC adaption of the original book. It focuses almost entirely on Sherlock’s problem-solving and observational skills. This book is a great introduction to the genius of Holmes and any kid that likes detective stories or whodunits will probably enjoy it.
- There are illustrations throughout the book (by Arianna Bellucci) that are creative and appropriate for the targeted age group.
- There are definitions/descriptions throughout the book that are provided for words that may not be familiar to younger readers (e.g., hansom cab, telegraphy).
- If you are familiar with the Jefferson Hope story in the original version, you will find that it is almost completely removed from this children’s version. There is no mention of the Mormons (only mentioned as a “religious group”), no mention of Native Americans (referenced as Indians in the original story), and no mention of polygamy. To me, these omissions made the motive for the murder in the kid’s version appear a bit weak… but kids won’t even notice it.
- Maybe it is just me, and granted it has been a long time since I was this age, but doesn’t 7 seem a bit young for a book about revenge murders? Especially when, due to the circumstances and the motive, the reader somewhat sides with the murderer?
I love the Holmes books and stories. I have read every single one of them. Some of the stories are phenomenal and others are just okay. I definitely think everyone should read the Holmes stories at some point in their lives.
While this children’s version does appear to remove some of the more controversial parts of the story, it still leaves Holmes’ genius and Watson’s wonder and appreciation of Holmes’ talent. Middle grade readers likely won’t know what parts of the stories are missing, and I think they will enjoy the investigation aspect of the stories very much.
This is the first book in a series of 12 adapting Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries for children.
Thank you NetGalley and Sweet Cherry Publishing for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy A Study in Scarlet. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)