Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett

On that same long car trip mentioned below, I listened to The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett. When Xander and Xena's family relocates to London, these siblings discover that they are direct descendents of Sherlock Holmes. They are inducted into a secret society and entrusted with a notebook containing Holmes' unsolved cases . . . some of which have tantalizing clues that might lead to solutions, even after so many years!

Sherlock Holmes, always relatively popular, has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, what with the movies and the TV series and all. I can think of at least three children's mystery book series that are in some way related to Holmes. I have to admit that, while I have enjoyed some of the original Holmes stories and some of the recent adaptations, I'm not an expert on Holmes trivia, so I won't comment too much on that aspect of this story. The Holmes angle in this book mostly serves to tie together a possible series, rather than playing directly into the details of this particular story.

In general, the writing in this story was good. The plot was strong, with enough clues and red herrings to make things interesting. Xena and Xander are not particularly memorable characters, but they are fine for a plot-driven mystery. The things that the siblings encounter, and the actions that they take to uncover clues, are believable -- they are things that kids could conceivably accomplish. I don't feel any compulsion to read more books in this series. However, I will certainly keep this book in mind for when kids come into the library looking for mysteries.

(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)

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