Booklist Review

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Booklist Online Exclusive: September 6, 2017

Lock and Key: The Downward Spiral.

Pearson, Ridley (Author)
Oct 2017. 432 p. Harper, hardcover, $17.99. (9780062399045).

Following the events of The Initiation (2016), James, his little sister, Moira, and Sherlock sink deep into hidden clues at Baskerville Academy and at home in Boston as they investigate James and Moira’s father’s accidental death. Over Christmas vacation, Sherlock has solved a clue left behind in a desk drawer, but that brings more questions than answers. Halting their progress is James’ involvement with a secret society, the Scowerers, at school, whose assignments are, to say the least, concerning. As James grows more and more distant, Moira feels she can only trust Sherlock, a move she hopes she won’t regret. There’s adventure aplenty, and the ending is left open for sequels that will likely further young Moriarty’s progress from schoolboy to famed villain. Modern Sherlock adaptations can be a hard sell to the middle- grade crowd, and most won’t get the sly jokes and references to the original works. Still, Sherlock’s characterization is spot-on, though, and that alone will keep readers coming back for more.

— Stacey Comfort

Movie reviews

I saw two movies this weekend, a rare treat.


Far From the Madding Crowd is a fabulous film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel. It’s an emotional love story, beautifully filmed and acted. Marcelle and I agreed we would be going back for a second viewing.

Ex Machina is a futuristic thought-provoking film (R rated) about Artificial Intelligence, genius, innocence and freedom. A spare film with a small cast, it projects a big picture. It’s a film I’m glad I’ve seen, might even see again, but not a must-go for everyone.