Sherlock Holmes aficionados include a number of personality types, but they tend to have one thing in common; they really pay attention to details. Ingrid is a 13-year-old girl who is only just now learning to heed the minutiae of her existence, even though she has been a rabid fan of the great detective for years. She sleeps near her collection of Holmes’ tales and reads them regularly. In many situations, she finds herself asking, “What would Mr. Holmes do?” Unfortunately, she realizes a bit too late that her natural tendencies do not lean toward observation; she can’t even navigate the streets of her own hometown.
While Ingrid stumbles along, trying to solve a local murder (and get her soccer cleats back), the author assembles a truly fascinating array of characters, events, and action sequences that keeps the reader interested all along. Why is Ingrid’s dad gone so much of the time? What is up with her brother’s skin condition? Just who is Vincent anyway, and why is he so insistent that people refer to him by his first name? These questions, and others like them, come and go throughout the narrative.
The pace is pretty quick, but not overly fast. Most of the questions are answered by the end of the book, but it seems clear that Ingrid and her family will appear in forthcoming stories as well (as they do). The mystery itself has a few unique facets, and is fun to discover, but it’s not nearly as Sherlockian as this particular fan had anticipated.
Rated: Moderate. The language in this book is a real turn-off. As much as I enjoyed the characters (and would like to see if the next mystery is more satisfying), I am not sure I want to wade through this level of vocabulary. Forty incidents of taking the Lord’s name in vain and just over 30 uses of other mild terms seems rather high for the target audience of teen readers.