Lerner’s Graphic Universe imprint moves into mysteries with their retellings of some of Sherlock Holmes’ famous cases. The books are short but decent adaptations that should pique the interest of young mystery fans, as long as they are careful readers willing to pay attention to the smallest details.
When selecting adaptors for their Sherlock Holmes series, Lerner decided to go with Murray Shaw who wrote the Match Wits with Sherlock Holmes series in the 1990s. Both he and writer Cosson do a competent job of abridging Holmes’ adventures, though it is uncertain whether young readers will get all of the subtleties of some of the cases. For example, in Sherlock Holmes and a Scandal in Bohemia, a king contracts with Holmes and Watson to retrieve a photo of him with a popular opera singer. Older elementary school and middle school aged readers are unlikely to pick up that the relationship between the king and the singer was more than mere dating and therefore will not understand much of the urgency of the story. On the other hand, modern parents who are unaware of the original Doyle stories may raise eyebrows at Holmes’ peculiar and not necessarily court-sanctioned brand of justice. In both Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure at Abbey Grange and Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blue Gem, the criminals are allowed to go free in the end.
The flavor of Doyle’s British voice is retained and the stories all three have a matter-of-factness that is reminiscent of Donald Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown mysteries. Adapting the stories means that some details have been left out, so readers will need to be careful and pay close attention in order to solve the crime along with Holmes….
Sherlock Holmes and a Scandal in Bohemia: On the Case with Holmes and Watson, #1
Hardback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6185-5, Paperback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6197-8
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure at the Abbey Grange: On the Case with Holmes and Watson, #2
Hardback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6189-3, Paperback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6200-5
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blue Gem: On the Case with Holmes and Watson, #3
Hardback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6190-9, Paperback: ISBN 978-0-7613-6202-9
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Adaptors: Murray Shaw and M.J. Cosson; Illustrator: Sophie Rohrbach
Lerner/Graphic Universe; November 2010