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Xena and Xander have
been looking forward to their vacation in the peaceful country village
of Blackslope. But when a huge monster begins to terrorize the town, the
young detectives are faced with a mystery that seems impossible to
Sherlock Holmes, Xena and Xander’s famous ancestor,
investigated the case of a horrible beast in Blackslope, but that was
nearly a hundred years ago. It couldn’t be the same creature after all
this time—could it?
Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
This story is the second in a series about a brother and sister who are the descendents of Sherlock Holmes. They have inherited their predecessor's notebook of unsolved mysteries and each book has them on an adventure solving one case at a time. The kids are on a week vacation out in the country away from London and they hear a monster howl. Superstition from the town makes them realize this was a sight Sherlock visited himself and did not solve the case of the Beast of Blackslope.
Sherlock had been called in because he had solved the case of The Hound of the Baskervilles but was said to not have solved this one. If you are a fan of Sherlock, you know that he only gave us (or rather Watson) those cases he was successful in solving and there had been plenty he had not solved. For me, I think some of them were unsolved because he was a busy man and I wish that had been stated, more for the ending of this book because it seemed like something he could have figured out.
That being said, this book put a modern twist on an old case and it worked out really well. I do get a bit lost when reading this book because it is so fast pace and the POV switches quickly from Xander to Xena, and sometimes I think it's because of their names both starting with an X, but other times I wonder if it's because their voices aren't distinct enough. That's the for the 4 stars... and the ending on how they solve so simply a hundred year old case so simply. That felt a bit tacked on but worked well.
I will be reading the next one now and believe this book is perfect for middle age kids who love reading detective/ mystery stories. It's a fast pace book and there are a lot of clues and potential suspects. The plot twists keep everyone engaged nicely.
Now some people have given this one a poor rating and have commented that this feels like a plot from Scooby-Doo. I believe the premise of this story was to more closely be related to The Hound of the Baskervilles and I think this worked well.