I am a fan of all things Sherlock. When I heard there was a new YA book about him as a high school student, I got excited. The book was getting rave reviews, and I made a point to read it asap. Believe the hype!! I sincerely loved this book, and my favorite part is that the cover page says “Book 1 of the Locked Series.”
There have been many versions of Sherlock Holmes, and my favorite is the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch. Like the TV show, Locked takes place in modern times. While reading the book, I easily imagined Benedict barely tolerating his senior year as the new kid in school. The premise is fun and original, and the tall, lanky British genius the author creates is most definitely a younger version of the sleuth we all know and love.
Sherlock Holmes moves next door to Irene Adler, and they meet when she delivers a meal to welcome his family to the neighborhood. Their first conversation is awkward and confusing, as Irene is a girl who doesn’t like attention and Sherlock is a guy who notices everything.
Locked is about how these neighbors work together to uncover who pulled a cruel prank on Irene at school. As the victim, Irene wants to know who is responsible. Out of bordom, Sherlock wants a challenge. Together they set out to identify the culprit. When one of their suspects is murdered at school, they join forces to catch the killer. During the investigation, Irene becomes Sherlock’s first friend, and their platonic relationship is a mutual surprise.
Both characters struggle with the day to day. Irene is grieving the recent loss of her big sister. Her time with Sherlock is the catalyst for emerging from depression. As a genius with no filter and zero social skills, Sherlock finds Irene’s ability to befriend him as much of a mystery as the murder at school. In addition to the characters and plot, I very much enjoyed Eva Morgan’s storytelling. I imagine bringing Sherlock’s mannerisms and wit to life on a page is a challenge only Dolye himself would understand, and she knocks it out of the park. – kris