Just for the fun of it, I’m doing an in-depth review of an old favorite today. Robert Newman wrote one of my favorite fantasy books, The Shattered Stone, but he also wrote a whole series of young adult mysteries that all start The Case of…
Be warned, these are old books, from the 70’s and 80’s. Granted, that makes me feel old, too… But I just looked them up, and they are available in ebook now, which means you don’t have to hunt them down in old print copies the way I did. (Although the print copies have way nicer covers.)
The series is sort of a Sherlock Holmes off-shoot, in that Sherlock is in a few of the books, but mostly the books are about a young boy and his friends.
In the first book, Andrew’s guardian is kidnapped in London, leaving him all alone. He’s rescued by a girl nicknamed Screamer and her family. Screamer’s brother works for Sherlock as a Baker Street Irregular, and so Andrew starts working for him, too. After helping Sherlock solve some big crimes, Andrew also finds out what happened to his guardian.
Later in the series, a policeman does more of the detecting than Sherlock does, but Andrew and Screamer remain involved.
Why do I like it so much?
The writing is good. (And you shouldn’t take that for granted.)
The mysteries are exciting but still logical and possible to solve yourself, though you don’t have to. And you don’t have to know stuff that’s impossible to know *cough Agatha Christie cough*.
But especially, the characters are very well done. I love Andrew and Screamer and the other characters. And even though the kids do a lot of the mystery-solving, they do it by helping the adults who are actually in charge (unlike some unrealistic young detective stories). The adults, in another plus, are generally loving and intelligent instead of cruel idiots.
The kids in the story are FRIENDS, above all else, and you can tell it when you read the stories. They treasure their friendship and stick together, and that makes for a delightful read.
So, there you go. If you like mysteries with young detectives, try Robert Newman’s The Case of series. Leave a comment to tell me what you think.
Marty C. Lee
© 2023 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.