Title: Lock and Mori
Series: Lock and Mori #1
Author: Heather W. Petty
Published: September 15, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students, one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James "Mori" Moriarty, meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more.
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London's Regent's Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James "Mori"Moriarty and Sherlock "Lock" Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock's one rule--they must share every clue with each other--Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can't trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.
**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
I was so intrigued by this book. A Sherlock Holmes Retelling with a female Moriarty. A romance between Sherlock and his arch-nemesis. I was also really excited for a complex and interesting mystery. And while I think there were some really great elements, this was only an okay read for me.
I'm not a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and frankly I find the fact that he is the world's greatest detective by sheer observation skills a little disappointing. There isn't much investigating for the audience when your protagonist can figure it out right away. But for fans of that style of mystery they will definitely be pleased that this book stayed true to the spirit of original novel. It wasn't guide so simple as that, but it was a pretty basic mystery and we found out who the culprit was pretty early into the book. I would have liked a little bit of a deeper mystery that was more of a thriller but that is just the kind of mysteries that I prefer. I did still like the way that the plot here developed. It really build to an exciting and engaging climax. When it was all over, I was surprised and entertained but it took until the last 20% of the book for the thrills to kick in.
But that wasn't really the focus of this book. It wan't about the mystery, it was about the people and how they responded to it all. This was much more of a character-driven novel. Which was a good thing because it an investment in the characters who I may not have liked too much if they didn't take the focus. I sort of viewed it as a Moriarty origin story and because Moriarty is a bit of a villain of the original story we had that kind of time here too, which I love. Things definitely don't go well for Mori and they haven't been good for awhile now. She doesn't have the best home life and yet she's still compassionate and caring. She puts others before herself and you can't help but agree with her desire to make things better. I was invested in seeing her development throughout the novel. She was really in a very grey area and because of that there was a sense of curiosity and conflict about how things were going to go for her. It made it all the more engaging for the reader to empathize with her plight.
Lock and Mori was a good start to a series but it did suffer a little bit of a first book syndrome to me. It took a little while for the plot to kick in. For such a short book it took me a surprisingly long amount of time to finish it. It's a slower paced read and a slower plotted read. It's the kind of book that I had to take the time to get really get invested in and I had no problem putting it down to prioritize other reads. However, it was interesting and finished really strong. But if you are looking for a edge of your seat, pulse-pounding mystery, this isn't that kind of book. It's more of a character-driven book and for someone like me who is more of a plot-driven reader it took some time to get into it.
On the whole it was a good read with likable characters that is the good start to a series. I might say that the best thing about it is the retelling angle. It felt very Sherlockian and had this real old-school vibe that I think fans of the classic and the character will love.
I give Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty 7.5 out of 10 stars
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. This is definitely and interesting read and for fans of Sherlock Holmes you probably enjoy watching the characters you know and love as teenagers and seeing what possibly could have let them to be the way they are in the original. If you're looking for a character-driven read with a little mystery made pick this one up.