I am a fan of all-things Sherlock Holmes, so anytime I hear about a new spinoff of my favorite detective series I am guaranteed to give it a try. Artie Conan Doyle and The Gravedigger's Club is the first in a new series that I'm looking forward to following. The mystery stars a young Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of the original Sherlock Holmes) as he solves mysteries around his hometown in Edinburgh. In this first adventure, Artie and his best friend Hamilton are exploring a local graveyard late at night when they spot a ghostly woman and the paw prints of a gigantic hound. Soon, they're on a quest to discover the mystery behind the two sightings, as well as the culprit of several robberies carried out by a mysterious society known as The Gravedigger's Club.
I loved that this book carried elements of some of the tales of Sherlock and Watson -- the idea being that these events in Artie's life would later influence his storytelling -- and I also loved how the story was steeped in historical detail. Though the mystery is the main focus of the plot, this also featured a theme of friendship, particularly as it relates to the hero-sidekick relationship that we see in this type of story. Recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy detective stories (and potentially a great summer reading pick)!
This title will be released on June 15, 2017.
Bottom-Line Rating: 4/5
Title: Artie Conan Doyle and The Gravedigger's Club
Author: Robert J. Harris
Publisher: Kelpies, 2017
Source: Net Galley
Note: Top Shelf Text was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!