Yes. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking right now. Yes. It’s a broody, brilliant teenage Sherlock Holmes solving mysteries and sharing kisses alongside the troubled teenage genius Miss James “Mori” Moriarty. I am guessing that your reaction is probably similar to mine the first time I heard about this book and then saw the delightful cover –
I must agree. I tore through this book when I got my hands on the ARC and it fulfilled all my Sherlock/mystery/messed up YA romance needs. I think teens are going to LOVE this book. When I was asked to be part of the book tour, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. SO this week I will be bringing you all the reasons you should pre-order this book (it comes out on September 15) and NEXT week I’m hosting an interview with author Heather W. Petty and Simon & Schuster is hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader. Whooo-hooo! So what’s so special about Lock & Mori? Let me count the ways …
I am always glad to find a new mystery for my teen readers that is not historical or paranormal. Not that there’s anything wrong with mixing up genres like that – but I have some teen readers that ONLY want contemporary action/thriller/mysteries and there’s NEVER enough for them. More often than not, they’re also reading from the adult section because…well, there’s just not enough YA with contemporary, hard-edge mysteries with NO magic just clever, contemporary mystery solving with some ass-kicking and dangerous twists. Lock and Mori totally fills that gap – yes there’s romance, there’s personal/family trauma and drama, but at heart, it’s a crackerjack mystery with real villains and real stakes.
Yo – are your teens as into BBC’s Sherlock as mine are? Yeah, I thought so. My teens won’t stop talking about Sherlock. Is part of this due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones? WELL SURE. But another part is that the BBC’s Sherlock does a great job making Sherlock of the here and now. Lock & Mori has that same vibe. Sherlock is still his same old disdainful, unbearably clever self … but he’s also very much a teenage boy in London in the here and now. It does a great job, just like the BBC show, of weaving in the same old story with something very contemporary. I think teens will be drawn to that mix and find it a good match with the show. And, like the show, Lock & Mori isn’t afraid to invent new ideas and new interpretations of Sherlock and the world he lives in – another thing teens who eat up fanfic and AUs will be surely drawn to.
Yes, this story is narrated by Mori, not Lock and it’s fantastic to see him develop as a character through the eyes of someone other than John Watson. BUT EVEN WITHOUT ALL THAT, THERE IS MORI. She is fierce, smart, sad, dangerous, and on the precipice of … of … something very dark and alluring indeed. It makes it nerve-wracking to read about her and her voice keeps the pages turning. (did I mention I tore through this book?) Lock and Mori have a steamy, passionate connection which adds some dimension to the mystery and makes everyone who knows how canon says their story will end wiggle their toes with anticipation. It’s a smart move on Petty’s part as a writer, because it gives Mori some fallibility that still has you rooting for her and it gives the reader a delicious frisson of angst and suspense in a story that’s hundreds of years old and told over and over.
Mori is an absolute delight as a narrator and a YA treasure of a character. She is female heroine who the text foreshadows will become an anti-heroine, oh my goodness what’s not to love!
I think teens are going to love this book! I’ve already started telling my most passionate fandom teens about it and they nod their heads with vigorous approval and anticipation. I think you’ll be doing the same thing! I recommend Lock & Mori as a first purchase for libraries where mysteries, books with slightly amoral protagonists, and fandom followings are big draws.
And make sure you come back next week for my interview with Heather W. Petty and a GIVEAWAY!!