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Children's LiteratureThe Irregulars are a group of street urchins who keep their eyes and ears open for Sherlock Holmes, but after Tim dies the group splits up, and some turn to crime. Archie Wiggins feels responsible for Tim's death and is ashamed to go to Holmes for help. Dooley, Tim's younger brother, has no such scruples and goes to see the famous detective. He discovers Holmes is missing and that some ruffians were carrying a long bundle wrapped in a rug, a bundle with Holmes' deerstalker cap. With careful listening and observing, Wiggins, Dooley, and two others, Jennie and Owens, learn where Holmes is being hidden and uncover a plot to bomb Queen Victoria during her Golden Jubilee celebration and parade. After collecting information, the four amateur sleuths convene and share their findings at the Raven Pub, where they decide to call themselves "The Raven League," sure to appear again in future sequels as aides to the great Sherlock Holmes. Characters genuinely care about each other and their families and do not shy away from danger or adventure. 2006, Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 9 to 13.
—Janet L. Rose