The Boy Sherlock Holmes: Eye of the Crow, by Shane Peacock

Despite appearances, I’ve actually had some time to read lately. Maybe “had some time to read” isn’t totally accurate – it’s been more like “squeezed some time to read” but regardless, it’s the end result that counts, right?

And I’ve been lucky, because everything I’ve picked up to read recently has turned out to be a good read. Eye of the Crow was a  really, really good read, in fact.

Eye of the CrowI picked up Eye of the Crow, by Shane Peacock, from the library one day; the “Silver Birch nominee” sticker on the spine caught my eye (as it turns out, it’s won a bunch of awards, including the Arthur Ellis Award for Juvenile Crime Fiction).

The book is about Sherlock Holmes’ first case, one undertaken when he’s a boy of just thirteen; I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan, and always on the lookout for good books about Holmes (Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series is another favorite of mine).

But Eye of the Crow stayed sitting in the pile of books on my library shelf for most of the three weeks I had it out.

And then, luckily, one day I read Memory’s review of Death in the Air; it’s the sequel to Eye of the Crow. Memory mentioned that Death in the Air was a good read, but not as good as Eye of the Crow. I realized, “Hey! I have Eye of the Crow sitting in my library pile.”

So I dashed over to my library shelf, picked up the book, and started reading.

I didn’t stop until I’d finished the entire book. The day got darker, my to-do list stayed undone (which, when you think about it, is really not such a bad thing,  because it meant all I had to do was re-use the same list the next day, with a few more additions), but I finished the book, my heart racing because it was gloriously, gorgeously suspenseful.

I know this is a children’s book, but the fact is, once you start reading, you’ll find yourself drawn into the world of 1860s London – drawn so deeply in you can almost smell the grime and feel the grit. And you’re not going to be thinking to yourself, I’m reading a children’s book – you’re going to be too deep in the story to remember that you actually are reading a book.

And really, that’s the best kind of book to sink your teeth into.

Peacock has done an amazing job. His boy Sherlock Holmes gives the adult Sherlock Holmes exactly the right childhood background – all the pieces fall into place. The reasons behind why Holmes is the way he is are all there, in the childhood backstory that Peacock has created for the adult Holmes in Eye of the Crow.

Not to mention, the suspense builds and builds and builds. This one is a keeper, and for the Sherlock Holmes fan, a must read.

21 thoughts on “The Boy Sherlock Holmes: Eye of the Crow, by Shane Peacock

    1. Belle

      It seems to be difficult pulling off a crime or mystery novel for either YA or middle grade, but I’ve recently had such good luck in finding good crime fiction for this age range. I hope you get a chance to read this, Jill – it’s a very good read.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Once you start this one, Margot, I think you’ll forget it’s written for a younger audience. It uses present tense narration, which can sometimes take ma a while to get use to, but in this case, I was use to it almost instantly.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      You’re certainly not under-read, Kathy!

      If you’re interested, though, it’s easy to get a taste of Sherlock, because there’s a lot of good stuff in the short stories. You just have to read one and then you can say you’ve read Sherlock Holmes :)

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I am just so glad I came across your review, Memory – I think I probably would have returned it to the library unread, otherwise. And that would have been horrible – I would have missed out on such a great read!

      Reply
  1. molly

    What a timely post for me! Second semester I do a mystery unit with my seventh grade class and we read several Sherlock Holmes’ short stories. I have always wanted to have a novel to recommend to them – in addition to The Hound of the Baskervilles. I will be sure to check this one out over the holiday break.
    .-= molly´s last blog ..Review: The Christmas Cookie Club =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I hope you get a chance to read this one over the holidays, Molly. I’ve read a few Holmes-related novels for mid-grade and YA, and this is the best one so far.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Hope you enjoy it, Jemi! I’ve put in a hold for the second in the series, and Memory tells me there’s a third coming out – I’m looking forward to reading them.

      Reply
  2. Jeane

    I read the entire Sherlock Holmes years and years ago, but have never tried any of newer books about him. This one does look interesting- and I wonder if it would lead any kids into the originals.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      It probably would, Jeane. I’m actually anxious to do a reread of the short stories to see if Peacock’s imagined back story for Holmes makes a difference in any of the stories!

      Reply
  3. Margot

    I don’t think I’ve read any Sherlock Holmes books, certainly not in the last ten years. I should give this a try. I like your attitude towards to-do lists. I feel the same way. It just means I have a head-start on tomorrow..
    .-= Margot´s last blog ..On Finding Secret Recipes =-.

    Reply
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  5. Rebecca

    I didn’t know about this book. I am thinking of going with some people to see the Sherlock Holmes movie on the 27th. I know it won’t be completely true to form, but from what I’ve seen it will be a fun movie.

    I have some photos from London of where I toured the Sherlock Holmes museum. I was just telling someone the other day I needed to get those photos up and this is another reason! I will have some time to do that coming up. That will be a fun holiday post, even if it is 2 months tardy. :/
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Friday Fill-Ins #155 =-.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Review of “Eye of the Crow” by Shane Peacock « Rhapsody in Books Weblog

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