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The new resident in 221B Baker Street is about to give Sherlock Holmes a run for his magnifying glass! When Griffin is sent to stay with his detective uncle at 221B Baker Street for the summer, he is certain that his uncle must be the great Sherlock Holmes! But Griffin is disappointed to discover that Holmes lives at 221A Baker Street and his uncle lives unit 221B. His uncle is a detective, just not a very good one. But when Griffin meets a woman with a case that seems ridiculous, he and his uncle team up to help her. Along the way, Griffin shows his uncle just what it means to have true faith in God, even when the case challenges that. The woman claims that her husband was eaten by the Loch Ness Monster, but monsters aren’t real-or are they? 

When I received No Place Like Holmes by Jason Lethcoe, I thought there had been a typographical error on the back of the book – its genre was listed as juvenile non-fiction. I was sure the publisher would have it fixed before too long, as it seemed strange to have a work of fiction categorized as non-fiction. But after reading the preface (“About the World’s Most Secret Detective”), I was corrected. The main character, Griffin Sharpe, became a famous detective and I was holding the first written account of his start into crime-solving.

No Place Like Holmes is a fantastic, edge-of-your seat story that is almost unbelievable as non-fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though it was written for children. The characters are well-developed and each scene is full of details that will allow you—if you are paying attention—to help solve the mystery. The chapters are short, making the book more manageable for reluctant readers. There are inventions which will have inquiring minds intrigued to dig into history and find out how on earth these worked during that era. Readers are forced to consider how their actions and attitudes affect others as well as to consider the little details that can make a big difference. Compassion and the spiritual well-being of others are a constant theme—things that are still greatly needed in our world.

The book ends with a section called “How Sharpe Are You?” with fourteen questions about details in the story and questions that challenge readers to think about and discuss their faith. There are two Griffin Sharpe mini-mysteries for readers to solve and a recipe for scones (yum!).

I am eager to learn more about Griffin Sharpe and plan on doing some detective work of my own about him. I eagerly anticipate book two in the series, The Future Door, coming December 2011. More history needs to be taught this way. Well done, Mr. Lethcoe!

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from BookSneeze.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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