James Moriarty is one of the greatest criminal masterminds the world has ever known. But before he became the scheming, remorseless villain he is now, he was just my older brother, James…At Baskerville, an elite private boarding school founded by our ancestors, James started drifting to the darkness. It was there he met his roommate, the insufferable Sherlock Holmes. From the very beginning, the two were at each other’s throats, literally and figuratively. But as much as the two frustrated each other, an incident at the school – and some would say destiny – forced the two together.
One fateful day, during a vicious game of hide-and-seek (played the Moriarty way), Moria – along with her big brother James – hears something secretive being moved around in their father’s study. After an attack on the house, their father sends them to Baskerville Academy with instructions for Moria should the worst happen to him on his “travels”. But what travels would send kidnappers, a secret society, and mysterious thieveries into their lives? Meanwhile Baskerville Academy has its own brewing trouble. What with the impetuous Sherlock Holmes on the move, a seedy headmaster, and more family secrets, Moria isn’t sure who to trust. It’s a shadowy game against time, mysterious players, and uncertain forces that ends in a fantastic conclusion that will have you begging for more.
I should have reviewed this book before as I enjoyed it so much. I devoured it in one day, completing it despite the fact that we were out from about eight to three in the afternoon. It was so good and had me hooked from the first look (I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but…). This book is so well-told and actually sort of funny in some ways. I already am a fan of Ridley Pearson, having read Peter and the Starcatchers many, many times. I’ve also read Kingdom Keepers a lot – probably more than the previous series – so I was looking forward to the contents of this book. I was not disappointed.
The contention between the ever-darkening James, know-it-all Sherlock, and clever Moria adds to the story and I found it interesting that the author does emphasize the point that many of us think about Holmes: he’s intolerable. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a brilliant detective. But as a person, it’s hard to like him for the way he acts. He is insensitive and often rather annoying in the fact that he always presumes to know things (though even more frustratingly, he’s usually correct). So I thought it interesting that not only is it James who can’t stand him, but Moria as well. I thought it even more intriguing that she finds herself trying to prove to both Holmes and James that she is more than – in her brother’s mind at least – a stupid girl. Her relationship with Holmes (that of him annoying her and yet still giving her credit where credit is due) is also intriguing because Lock and Key shows us a side of Holmes that is less puffed up. The fact that he becomes friends with Moria makes him more human, which is to be appreciated.
As for readers, I think you will highly enjoy this. I believe there are a couple cuss words, so parents be forewarned. However, for older kids or parents, this is a highly enjoyable book with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end and begging for a second book.