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Go to The Dancing Men and ask for a saucer of milk for your snake. That’s all the note says–before the ink disappears!Xena and Xander Holmes think living in London will be boring.
Recommend to: Fans of mystery and adventure ages 8-12.
Upon moving to their new home in London, siblings Xena and Xander Holmes immediately discover a strange but true fact: They are the direct descendants of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and have inherited his casebook of unsolved mysteries.
The mystery itself is very simple, and the characters never face any real danger or violence, making this a great selection for newly independent chapter-book readers as well as slightly older mystery fans.
Once they’ve finished this quick-paced adventure, readers can continue to follow the Holmes siblings in three more series installments: The Beast of Blackslope, The Case that Time Forgot, and The Missing Heir.
Review: Barrett introduces a pair of protagonists with immediate appeal for young readers.
Like any siblings, Xena and Xander occasionally bicker and even embarrass each other, but when push comes to shove, each has the other’s back.The leader of the group then gives them a book containing Sherlock Holmes’ unsolved cases, and the children decide to try their hand at solving one of them.Apparently, a famous painting disappeared in March of 1907.The sun never seems to come out, and they both wonder if they are going to be “cold and damp” all the time.Then something happens that takes their minds off their worries. The note tells them to go to a nearby pub and to ask for “milk for your snake,” which is very odd indeed as they don’t know the man and they don’t have a snake.The kids barely have time to read the peculiar message before the ink disappears from the paper.Once they learn that “The Dancing Men” is a nearby pub (and that a “ploughman’s lunch” is something they might actually like), they can’t ignore their curiosity about it.The clever siblings might be a bit more curious than most, though, since they happen to be the American descendants of the famous Sherlock Holmes.After inheriting his casebook of unsolved problems, they quickly find themselves on the trail of a century-old mystery the Great Detective himself never solved.Sherlock Holmes started to look for the missing painting, but he never completed his investigation, and the portrait is still missing.Will his young descendents have more luck solving the case?