Thursday, December 1, 2011

MG/YA Mystery: The Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock

Series: The Boy Sherlock Holmes #5
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: September 2011
Format: hardback
Acquired: from LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book in return for an honest review.)
Pages: 220
Reading time: four days

From GoodReads: Summer 1869, and Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. It is the London sensation. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham. It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. Hemsworth has a motive: not only is the Wizard his rival, but he also caused a scandal when he lured Hemsworth’s wife away. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader.

My review: I am unfamiliar with the rest of this series but had no difficulties with jumping into its latest installment. The action is fast-paced and the mystery intriguing, though I had parts of it figured out long before the final denouement. I enjoyed connecting Peacock's characters and details with those of Arthur Conan Doyle's life and writings. Overall, though, I didn't much like the novel. The plotline seemed to be missing some essential piece for coherence, with the detective process and final climax coming off as rushed. The punctuation errors and overuse of ellipses in my finished copy did little to impress me, either. The Dragon Turn is a nice read for a slightly younger audience, perhaps, but it does little for older readers used to better writing and more complex development.

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