“You there! Come here!”
Sherlock Holmes turned to see who was being called and who was doing the calling. There were hundreds of pupils standing in the bright sunlight outside Deepdene School for Boys that morning, each dressed in immaculate school uniform and each with a leather-strapped wooden chest or an overstuffed pile of luggage sitting in front of him like a loyal dog. Any one of them might have been the target. The masters at Deepdene made a habit of never referring to the pupils by name—it was always “You!” or “Boy!” or “Child!” It made life difficult and kept the boys on their toes, which was probably the reason why they did it. Either that or the masters had given up trying to remember the names of their pupils long ago; Sherlock wasn’t sure which explanation was the most likely. Perhaps both.
None of the other pupils were paying attention. They were either gossiping with the family members who had turned up to collect them or they were eagerly watching the school gates for the first sight of the carriage that was going to take them home. Reluctantly, Sherlock swung round to see if the malign finger of fate was pointing his way.
It was. The finger in question belonged in this instance to Mr. Tulley, the Latin master. He had just come round the corner of the school, where Sherlock was standing apart from the other boys. His suit, which was usually covered in chalk dust, had been specially cleaned for the end of term and the inevitable meetings with the fathers who were paying for their boys to be educated, and his mortarboard sat straight on his head as if glued there by the headmaster.
“Yes, sir. You, sir,” Mr. Tulley snapped. “Get yourself to the headmaster’s study quam celerrime. Do you remember enough Latin to know what that means?”
“It means ‘straightaway,’ sir.”
“Then move yourself.”
Sherlock cast a glance at the school gate. “But, sir—I’m waiting for my father to pick me up.”
“I’m sure he won’t leave without you, boy.”
Sherlock made one last, defiant attempt. “My luggage…”
Mr. Tulley glanced disparagingly at Sherlock’s battered wooden trunk—a hand-me-down from his father’s military travels, stained with old dirt and scuffed by the passing years. “I can’t see anyone wanting to steal it,” he said, “except perhaps for its historical value. I’ll get a prefect to watch it for you. Now cut along.”
Reluctantly, Sherlock abandoned his belongings—the spare shirts and underclothes, the books of poetry and the notebooks in which he had taken to jotting down ideas, thoughts, speculations, and the occasional tune that came into his head—and walked off towards the columned portico at the front of the school building, pushing through the crowd of pupils, parents, and siblings while still keeping an eye on the gateway, where a scrum of horses and carriages were all trying to get in and out of the narrow gate at the same time.
Copyright © 2010 by Andrew Lane
A teenage Sherlock will need every ounce of courage, determination and strength to defeat an enemy of evil intent in Andrew Lane’s Death Cloud, book one of the Young Sherlock Holmes series, the first teen series endorsed by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate!
It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain. (Ages 9-12)
Hardcover Book : pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux ( February 01, 2011 )
Item #: 13-370888
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 18.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Slow starter, but it was mostly fun after that. I'll give the next a try if the club gets it.
Reviewer: Annie H
This was a bit slow getting started, but I feel that is because it is a first book in a series and the whole intro to characters and the time period needed to be set up. Once it got underway it read very quickly and was full of unexpected twists and turns. I thought the villain was really original and there was certainly plenty of action. I'm an adult and will definately get the next in this series.
Reviewer: Everette B