This is an audiobook version of a young Sherlock Holmes adventure by Andrew Lane. There is all sorts of foreshadowing in this novel as the young 14 yr. old Sherlock begins to turn his already formidable intelligence to the arts of observation. He's been sent to the home of an elderly Uncle and Aunt for the summer holidays as his father is on his way to India and his mother is ill. His older brother Mycroft is too busy with the Government to be responsible for him in London, so he has arranged this situation with which Sherlock is not happy. However, he makes a friend in a street boy named Matty and is taking under the tutelage of an American named Amyus Crowe, whom Mycroft has engaged as his tutor for the summer. Crowe is an expert tracker from the American West and helps Sherlock hone his investigative skills as they roam the woods around Holmes Manor. Matty had previously seen an ominous Death Cloud in town, leaving the home of a dead man in an uncloudly-like movement. The man was covered in large boils on his hands and face. Sherlock then finds a body in the wood of Holmes Manor also with the same hideous boils. A dark cloud has been hovering over the body and then moved away, against the wind. Sherlock notices a yellow powder around the body and preserves some in an envelope and the game’s afoot!
Many adventures follow as Sherlock and Matty attempt to find the identity of the powder and track down the men who seem to taken a dislike to their investigation. Kidnap, a fire, a little torture, a fantastic villian and the timely help of his tutor and his pretty daughter all add up to a great adventure for the kids who have outgrown the Hardy Boys. At the end, it's Sherlock who solves the mystery and thwarts the villians using everything he's observed in the course of the adventure. Even adults who are looking for a deeper insight in the character of Holmes will enjoy this book.
The narrator, Dan Weyman, is great at doing different voices for the different parts. The different English accents sound very authentic so the American accent when Amyus Crowe is introduced comes as a shock, but not an unwelcome one. I give this audiobook an 8 out of 10 for Young Adults.