Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.
When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both of their talents to crack.
Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.
The Great Shelby Holmes is out now in the United States and Canada. Click here to locate an independent bookstore near you. Or you can order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Great Shelby Holmes is also available in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, with a Spanish-language edition to follow shortly.
Click here to read the first chapter!
Texas Bluebonnet Nominee 2017-2018
Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books 2016
A Junior Library Guild selection
2018-2019 Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Long-List
Wisconsin State Reading Association Just One More Page! selection
2017-2018 Horned Road Tales list
“An avid reader or amateur sleuth might deduce my interest in this book lies in its enigmatic hero, Shelby Holmes, obsessed with sweets and uncovering mysteries, but The Great Shelby Holmes offers more than just chocolate baked goods and intrigue. Young Shelby may be hunting for a lost spaniel rather than the Hound of the Baskervilles but she is no less dogged a detective than Sherlock himself. And even a legendary malcontent like S. Holmes or P. Bosch will be moved by the friendship at the heart of this riveting mystery. It’s only logical that you should read it at once.”
—Pseudonymous Bosch, bestselling author of The Secret Series and the Bad Books
“Who needs Sherlock when you’ve got Shelby Holmes on the case? This smart, funny mystery brings all the charm of the classic Holmes and Watson stories to a fresh, contemporary setting. Watch out readers—the game is afoot!”
—Varian Johnson, author of The Great Greene Heist and To Catch A Cheat
“Fun, fresh and unputdownable. I loved, loved, LOVED it!”
— Sarah Mlynowski, New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series
“Eulberg creates a lively present-day update of Sherlock Holmes, one with plenty of winks to the source material…. Readers will delight in Shelby’s ability to read clues in this well-plotted mystery and sympathize with Watson who, along with the rest of the supporting cast, is generally two steps behind Shelby.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Brisk pacing, likable characters, a few silly Holmes jokes (“I’m Petunia Cumberbatch,” says Shelby while undercover), and a diverse neighborhood, carefully and realistically described by John, are ingredients for success. A smart, fresh take on an old favorite makes for a terrific series kickoff.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Will delight readers as they attempt to solve the mystery of a missing dog… Eulberg’s middle grade debut is a first purchase for mystery lovers.”
— School Library Journal
“Young readers will admire the super sleuth and her equally likable sidekick. Perfect for mystery fans.”
— School Library Connection
BEHIND THE STORY
I have no idea when I first learned of Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson.
When I was in grade school, we did a Sherlock Holmes musical, where my brother played the intrepid detective, while I was relegated to the choir since there weren’t many parts for women. I saw the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock movies. But it wasn’t until I had so many people recommend the BBC Sherlock TV series that I finally “got” Sherlock and what an interesting character he is. Within the first ten minutes of the first episode, I was amazed at Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance. I thought, “Huh, Sherlock Holmes is hilarious! He behaves like a child with no social skills.” Then I had an A-HA! moment. What if I wrote a girl detective based on Sherlock Holmes? It was something I thought about for a year or so, until I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I then started doing a lot of research: reading the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories as well as several non-fiction books about the character, watching the various TV and movie incarnations, and creating my versions of Sherlock and Watson. I spent a lot of time walking around Harlem and talking to people who live on army bases to get a sense of where my former “army brat” Watson came from and his new surroundings.
Then I had to create a mystery. I didn’t realize how fun this would be! Granted, Shelby is a lot smarter than me, so I often had to work backwards. When I needed her realize something about a character, I had to figured out what clues I could plant for her to figure it out. But don’t worry, dear readers, I don’t have her unique ability to size people up the second I met them. Or do I? A great detective never reveals her secrets…
I hope you enjoy Watson and Shelby’s adventure as much as I did writing them. Right now there are going to be three books in the series, released each year starting Fall 2016. Fingers crossed, this won’t be the last you’ve heard of this dynamic duo!