Title: Lock & Mori
Author: Heather Petty
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: September 15, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling
My rating: 4/5
In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.
I loved this Sherlock inspired story. It’s told from the point of view of Mori…Miss James Moriarty. I loved seeing a female Moriarty. Mori has had a really hard past 6 months. Her mother passed away, her father has changed, and not for the better. She spends a lot of time caring for her younger brothers and appears to have withdrawn from a lot of her social life.
She and Sherlock team up to solve the mystery of a man murdered in the local park. And in doing so tumble into something bigger and much closer to home for Mori. Sherlock has a lot of the typical tendencies we see…deducing things based on the evidence he sees, poor social skills, etc. It’s a fun portrayal of him as a modern day teenager. Knowing that cannon Moriarty is Sherlock’s nemesis it felt a bit off at first as they become friends. But it’s cool to see them working together. And we’re left with glimpses of where that friendship may start to unravel leading to an eventual falling out. Mori has some darkness in her and I’m hoping that Sherlock will be able to temper that for her in future installments. For me it reads as pre-psychotic Moriarty. Whether we’ll get there is hard to say (I’m on the fence…there’s a lot of fun in a female Moriarty).
I had some issues. It was hard to get past the very obvious names without any more of a reference to it than “it’s a family name”. It feels like the Sherlock Holmes books aren’t part of this modern day universe. Which is okay, but it was glaring for a little bit. The characters do talk in a way that’s not normal for teenagers, but I’m willing to write that off to living in London and the quirkiness of canon Sherlock. The same for two teens deciding they’d be better at solving a murder than the police. That’s right up canon Sherlock’s alley…he’d totally decide the police were bumbling idiots and he could do better. And I read it as Mori thought more that the police were covering something up and she needed a distraction from her real life. And they’re teens…so you get a lot of teen angst which I’m hoping fades as the series continues. If you can’t get over those points, you’ll struggle with the book. And I think you need to accept that this is an early version of Moriarty before anything has happened to cause her to be Sherlock’s nemesis. The mystery wasn’t as deep or puzzling as I might have wanted from a mystery book, but I still really enjoyed the book.
This is a great twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes…and it’s only a few more months until the next one comes out!