Reviews for Secret Fiend
VOYA Reviews 2010 October
The Secret Fiend is the fourth book in Shane Peacock's series The Boy Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is fourteen years old and living with his eccentric mentor, apothecary Sigerson Bell. Sherlock's former schoolmate, Beatrice, comes to him for help, claiming her friend was abducted by Spring Heeled Jack. Sherlock thinks Beatrice invented the attack of the Penny Dreadful villain as a bid for his attention. Soon it becomes clear, however, that someone is donning the costume of the fictional character and creating mayhem. England is already in an upheaval over the installation of the Jewish prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, and the threat of the Spring Heeled Jack will send the city into complete chaos unless Sherlock can solve the mystery in time Peacock has added another brilliant installation to an already amazing series. Sherlock is beautifully drawn, true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and infused with the freshness of a youthful perspective. It is a delight to watch as the young detective develops, and it is a thrill to see how the various elements of his adult persona come together. This book is more than an origin story of the famous detective, however. The mystery has a solid, fast-paced plot; the characters are carefully constructed and fully fleshed out with dynamic, complex relationships; Victorian England itself is a character, and Peacock does a wonderful job of describing the streets, the political unrest and the changing modes that mark the era. This is a truly wonderful book and belongs in any library.--Heather Pittman 4Q 4P S Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.