Published by HarperCollins on September 20th, 2016
Genre: Middle-Grade Mystery
Bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson reimagines the origins of the epic rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. Set in modern times and focusing on Moriarty's bone-chilling beginnings, this middle grade mystery-adventure series will upend everything you thought you ever knew about Sherlock Holmes—and the true nature of evil. In the pantheon of literature’s more impressive villains, Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, James Moriarty, stands alone. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes him in the classic tale “The Final Solution,” Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher, and a spider in the center of his web. He is the Napolean of crime—and now, for the first-time ever, New York Times bestselling novelist Ridley Pearson explores the origins of his evil ways. Our story begins when James and his younger sister, Moria, are unceremoniously sent off to boarding school at Baskerville Academy. It is not a fate either want or welcome—but generations of Moriarty men have graduated from Baskerville’s hallowed halls. And now so too must James. It’s at Baskerville where James is first paired with a rather unexpected roommate—Sherlock Holmes. The two don’t get along almost instantly, but when the school’s heirloom Bible goes missing and cryptic notes with disconcerting clues start finding their way into James’s hands, the two boys decide that they must work together to solve a mystery so fraught with peril, it will change both their lives forever! It’s another seat-of-your-pants mystery from the bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and The Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson.
I was über excited when I discovered this book. I absolutely love the BBC miniseries of Sherlock, so naturally, I had to give this version a go. Immediately, right off the bat, I could tell this book was going to be filled with mysteries and secrets. I had no idea that the book was going to be told by no one other than Moriarty's little sister, Moria. In all honesty, I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be delving into James’ mind. That was a huge negative, at least to me. I would’ve liked to get understood James’ perspective on things rather than his younger, yet equally clever sister’s. Though we do spend most of our time observing through his sister's eyes, we do get to understand his reasonings and actions. Speaking of Moria, I don’t know how I feel about her character adding to the classic duo. Yes, it seems like every book must have at least a hint of romance or a character designed just to give the readers something to hope for. But I picked up this book purely for the mystery and interaction between Moriarty and Sherlock. I did enjoy the references to Doyle's original works. It made up for the unique point of view. I’ve read Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers series and was in awe with his character development and unique exploration of Disney parks. With that in mind, my mind failed to remember that his books are targeted at a much younger audience than myself. Though the writing is simplistic in more ways than one, some of Sherlock’s deductions could be quite complex and extravagant for younger readers. However, I did enjoy Sherlock’s slightly arrogant, clever character.