Title: Death Cloud
Author: Andrew Lane
Teen Reviewer: Timothy Wood
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Death Cloud, by Andrew Lane, is a book about a 14 year old Sherlock Holmes who is disappointed when he gets news that he will have to spend his time with his aunt and uncle, whom he has never met, instead of returning to London with his family for the summer because his father is sent overseas with the British Army, his mother is sick, and his brother, Mycroft, lives in London busily working for the British Government. What he thought would be a boring and tense vacation at his aunt and uncle's Holmes Manor turns out to be an exciting adventure when two bodies are discovered at the Manor and the town nearby. Investigating the deaths, Sherlock finds himself unraveling a diabolical plot with his new friend, Matty, and his new tutor from America, Amyus Crowe.
When I first picked up this book, I was skeptical of how enjoyable it would be simply because of the fact that many authors try to remake iconic fictional characters without much success. I am very happy to say that I was proven wrong. Being one of the only novels approved by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate, Death Cloud doesn't try to copy Doyle's work, but rather enhances it in that we are able to see how the adult Sherlock is made, especially in his dealings with Amyus Crowe. The novel is brilliantly written in the complexity of the plot, yet is still very much understandable, which I have found to be lacking in most detective novels. If the novel is too simple it's boring, but if it is too complex it's confusing. This novel has the perfect balance. It was also very difficult to put down. I found myself reading late into the night because of its excitement. I do wish that this novel had included more examples of how Sherlock came to think in the way he does, but I think Lane will include more of these in later books. People of all ages, but especially young people, who like detective novels should most certainly consider this one, and I myself will be picking up Arthur Conan Doyle's original books featuring Sherlock Holmes because of how much I enjoyed Death Cloud. Personally, I cannot wait to read the next one! I rate this a 5 out of 5.