The 100 Year Old Secret Book Report

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Because they are American kids newly arrived in London, explanations of British culture and customs come up naturally in the narrative, rather than as awkward exposition for the reader.

Nods to the original Sherlock Holmes stories are sprinkled throughout and sometimes explained (the saucer of milk for snake reference slips right by, but the Irregulars get a quick description).

Can two smart twenty-first-century kids succeed where Sherlock Holmes could not?

0805083405Xena and Xander Holmes and their parents have moved to London for a year, and so far, the children are far from enthusiastic about the big city.

Recommend to: Fans of mystery and adventure ages 8-12.

Upon moving to their new home in London, siblings Xena and Xander Holmes immediately discover a strange but true fact: They are the direct descendants of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and have inherited his casebook of unsolved mysteries.

One might think it presumptuous of two children to assume that they could succeed where the legendary sleuth had failed, but, kids being kids, they do not and find themselves almost immediately wrapped up in a case involving a missing painting.

Following leads, conducting interviews and applying a little old-fashioned know-how help the Holmes kids discover the truth behind the portrait’s mysterious subject and the location that has kept it safe and sound all these years.

Barrett presents readers with great characters and a believable mystery solved credibly (with the help of somewhat less-than-convincing photographic memories).

A strong start to what will undoubtedly remain an enjoyable series.

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