Book Review: Hemlock Jones and the Angel of Death by Justin Carroll

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Synopsis: Ten doors down from the home of a world famous ‘consulting detective’ lives twelve-year-old Hemlock Jones, and her recently arrived housemate and unwitting companion, Edward Whitlow.Hired to ‘demystify’ the mystery of a man’s murder by a terrifying angelic spectre, Hemlock and Edward’s investigations will lead them all over Victorian London, uncovering bizarre and deadly foes, figures from Hemlock’s hidden past, and a plot to take over the city…Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death is the first of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, a series of detective adventures for children and adults, set in Victorian London.

Review: I have made good on my promise of reading more mystery books and this one I found to be engrossing and stimulating. Although unusually set in the 1890s, I felt as though it added charm to the story and made it all the more enthralling.

This book follows Edward Whitlow, a schoolboy been sent to London. He lives in the same house as Hemlock Jones, a genius school girl who often gets into trouble and her greatest competition, Sherlock Holmes. Although they are both only 12 (which I found to be not that realistic but still slightly plausible) they try to solve the mystery of the murder of Professor Bantam whose main work in life was to find a more efficient light bulb. I thought the details of the story made it seem all the more realistic and the deductions that Hemlock Jones uses were incredibly acute which adds to her character. Although I do felt that the cover of the book let us down a bit as people do judge books by their covers and the cover I think doesn’t portray the story well.

I find Edward’s character very believable and realistic, especially by the fact that he doubts Hemlock Jones at some points in the book and is always weary and so mimicked a Watson and Sherlock relationship. I also found the rivalry between Hemlock and Sherlock interesting too! I found it clever how Edward and Hemlock took advantage of their young age to further their investigation. I also loved how he were given a strong female lead, it’s amazing! I found this book to remind me of the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz which has recently been made into a TV series!

Overall, this was a very gripping and interesting story although slightly quirky, I would recommend this to anyone!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it

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