A wealthy girl disappears in the middle of a crowded London street without a single witness to the crime. Sherlock Holmes, age 14, is on the case. Sherlock must race against the clock and his perfidious rival, the young criminal Malefactor, to save the girl and win the acclaim his genius is due. Before the case is over he will have to scour London for clues, brave a haunted house, dodge exotic and deadly creatures, and outwit everyone. The game is afoot!
This is the third book in the series about Sherlock Holmes as a boy. The book does an excellent job catching up readers, so this is a good title to jump into the series. Peacock really has a good take on what Holmes would have been like as a child. Holmes has all the brooding seriousness and arrogant drive for greatness that will define him as an adult. I found him both fascinating and sad. Peacock clearly did his research and brings 19th century London to life. Class conflicts and prejudices of the time play a role in the story and make the world much realer. All the characters have realistic motivations and seem genuine. The only thing that some readers may not like is the pace of the book. It has some very exciting and tense moments but it also has some places that are slower and more thoughtful. I thought it worked, but some readers may want a faster pace. If you like mystery books or historical fiction I would definitely read this book.