The Future Door

The Future Door

4.4 9
by Jason Lethcoe

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“Think Treasure Island’s Jim Hawkins and Encyclopedia Brown rolled into one adventurous, ingenious, God-fearing lad, and you get the idea. Fun,
suspenseful, and unpredictable, the No Place Like Holmes books are fantastic reads, and author Jason Lethcoe is a fine craftsman of words to boot. I highly recommend this series.” —Robert


“Think Treasure Island’s Jim Hawkins and Encyclopedia Brown rolled into one adventurous, ingenious, God-fearing lad, and you get the idea. Fun,
suspenseful, and unpredictable, the No Place Like Holmes books are fantastic reads, and author Jason Lethcoe is a fine craftsman of words to boot. I highly recommend this series.” —Robert
Liparulo, bestselling author of Dreamhouse Kings and The 13th Tribe

A mystery is afoot at 221 Baker Street, but will Griffin Sharpe be able to figure out the clues before the future catches up with the past?

When Sherlock Holmes moves out of Baker Street, a new tenant moves in—a mysterious woman named Elizabeth who has long been a fan of Holmes. When she discovers that Griffin and his uncle are also detectives, she becomes very friendly. So when Elizabeth goes missing along with a special invention, Griffin sets out to rescue her. But finding Elizabeth will take them on a race against the clock that bends time itself!

“The No Place Like Holmes books will capture you on first page and not let you go until the final fascinating twist and turn. Jason
Lethcoe is an excellent writer with the ability to craft a story that entertains all readers (adults are welcome to take a peek!).” —Robert Whitlow,
bestselling author of the Tides of Truth series

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
No Place Like Holmes Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Future Door

By Jason Lethcoe

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Jason Lethcoe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1730-1

Chapter One


Griffin Sharpe clutched his ebony walking stick, fighting to keep his balance as the steamship rocked back and forth on the churning waves. The storm had forced most of the passengers below, but not him.

His leg was still sore from where it had been permanently injured in a battle with one of the most evil men in London. But he didn't complain about the discomfort. Instead, he gritted his teeth and leaned more heavily on his stick, forcing himself to limp along the slippery rail to the bow of the heaving ship.

Twenty life preservers, three lanterns, one shuffleboard stick ... Griffin silently counted the things he saw as he hobbled forward, a longtime habit that helped him cope with anxiety or discomfort. He fought down his feeling of seasickness and forced himself to focus on the task at hand.

Griffin Sharpe's mind was a constant fireworks display of thoughts and ideas, and there were very few people like him. His unique reasoning and deductive abilities were gifts from heaven, and Griffin intended to use them in the service of others. Right now, he was helping the captain of the ship find his favorite spyglass, which had mysteriously disappeared. The captain had always kept it in his private chambers, and earlier that afternoon, when he'd gone to retrieve it, he discovered that the small telescope had vanished.

His leg was really throbbing, and the doctor had warned him that he needed to treat it gently, but Griffin couldn't help himself. Trifling things like unpleasant weather and rollicking waves wouldn't stop him when he was feeling excited to solve a mystery.

And as the twelve-year-old detective hobbled forward, his usually sad, blue eyes were alight with excitement, for Griffin knew he was getting close to cracking the case, and nothing thrilled him more than that.

He ignored the cold spray that had thoroughly soaked through his tweed jacket and cap as he searched everything near the front of the ship. After several long minutes, he finally spotted what he was looking for. A few feet to the left of a life preserver, right at the top of the bow, was a tiny, glittering object wedged between the deck plates.

He wiped his magnifying glass on his damp shirt and bent closer so that he could see the object better.

It was a tiny brass ring.

But Griffin could tell right away that it wasn't the kind of ring that was to be worn on a finger as a piece of jewelry. He studied it closely, noticing the small threads that wound around inside the circular band and the small bit of glass in its center.

The boy knew the ring was a piece of a brass telescope, the eyepiece that was supposed to be attached to the observing end.

He wedged the small ring out of the plates with his penknife and placed it carefully in his pocket. Then he smiled and wiped the salty mist from his forehead with his sleeve.

Now that he'd found this clue, Griffin had a pretty good idea of who had taken the captain's favorite brass telescope and what had happened to it. All that was left for him to do was to gather one more piece of evidence to prove that his hunch was correct. He swayed with the rolling ship as he limped to the door that led back inside the ship's main cabin.

Tap-tap-tap went his stick as it hit the weathered planks. Griffin studied the deck in front of him as he walked. The marks he followed were a nearly invisible series of small, gray half-moons that led from the bow back to the inside of the ship.

Nobody else would have observed what the marks were, but Griffin could tell that they were made by the heel of someone's shoe, someone who had stepped briefly into a puddle of grease.

He knew it to be grease because the rain and the waves weren't washing the marks away. Instead, droplets of water gathered in each half-moon and glittered in the ship's lamplight. Oil and water didn't mix. And Griffin had his suspicions as to where this particular kind of grease had originated. Like a young bloodhound, he was following the trail back to its point of origin.

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen ... He automatically counted the tracks as he entered the inside of the ship and followed the trail up a winding staircase. But this time, his habitual counting couldn't distract him from the pain in his leg, which had begun to burn so badly that he finally had to stop and sit on the uppermost stair.

As he massaged his calf, he glanced at the sumptuously decorated hallway in front of him. He was now on the upper deck, where the captain and the first-class passengers had their quarters.

Velvet curtains with silver tassels framed the hallway entrance, and curling filigree decorated the shiny brass portholes. Mounted on the wall opposite from where he sat was a small oil painting. It was a picture of the Westminster Clock Tower, the famous clock that many people called Big Ben.

Flashes of memory, like photographs, raced through his mind as he stared at the painting.

Two tons of stolen fireworks wrapped in unusual red paper. A gigantic submarine that looked like the Loch Ness monster. Lightning-fast railway cars of a futuristic design. The Westminster Tower, the same one as in the painting, turned into the world's largest time bomb ...

The memories from his last adventure played through his mind as if he were watching a magic lantern show.

But there was one memory that plagued him worst of all. As hard as he tried, he would never be able to forget the cruel face of Nigel Moriarty. The terrible man was cousin to the infamous Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes's archenemy, and his face constantly haunted Griffin's dreams.

Griffin could picture him even now, and just the thought of him made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. He felt his hands go clammy as he thought of Nigel's neat, curled mustache and his terrible laugh—the laugh that had filled his ears as the villain had plunged a sword into Griffin's back.

That cruel blow had happened at the precise moment when Griffin had used one of his uncle's inventions to defuse the gigantic time bomb that would have destroyed half of London.

Griffin reached over and took his ebony walking stick from where it was leaning against the banister and laid it carefully across his knees. Then, with a sick feeling in his stomach, he grasped the silver top, a knob with the engraved letters N.M. on it, and pulled outward while holding firmly to the wooden shaft.

A few inches of shiny steel slid out from inside the cane.

He stared down at the partially revealed blade. It had been this very sword, the one that was hidden inside the stick he now used as a crutch, that had nearly ended his life.

As he turned the weapon in his hand, Griffin's sad eyes were reflected in the weapon's mirror-like surface. It seemed an eternity ago since he'd boarded a similar boat and then a train that had brought him to London and had changed his life forever.

Griffin had arrived in London at the beginning of the summer to spend his vacation with his uncle, whom he had mistakenly thought was the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. But he'd soon found out that his uncle was not Holmes, but instead merely shared a hallway with him, with his uncle living at 221A Baker Street, and Holmes living at 221B.

After arriving, Griffin and his persnickety uncle had gotten off to a bad start. Rupert Snodgrass was a would-be detective who had been living so long in Sherlock Holmes's shadow that life had turned him bitter. And prior to Griffin's arrival, Snodgrass hadn't been able to secure a single case and had been nearly evicted from his apartment.

But when Griffin brought a desperate woman who claimed the Loch Ness monster had eaten her husband to his uncle for help, the boy and his uncle had formed a temporary alliance to help solve the unlikely mystery.

And to Rupert's and Griffin's surprise, they found that by working together they had proved to be a remarkable team.

Yet, although they had solved the case, it had not been without consequences. Griffin had nearly died when Nigel Moriarty had stabbed him in the back with the sword, and he'd also suffered the injury to his leg that had left him with his permanent limp.

But if there was one thing that his father had taught him, it was that there was always a silver lining. Griffin's dad was a Methodist minister, and believed that God could use even the most painful tragedies for good. The "good," as Griffin understood it, was that as a result of almost losing his nephew, Rupert Snodgrass had discovered that he actually cared for Griffin and that having family was more important than besting his rival, Sherlock Holmes. And against what had seemed impossible odds, Griffin and his uncle now shared a close friendship.

And the silver lining for Griffin Sharpe was actually having a friend in his uncle who understood and cared for him. It was something new and wonderful for the shy boy who had always been bullied.

Griffin knocked at the door marked Captain's Quarters. A few moments later he heard a low, rumbling voice call, "Enter!"

As the door of the captain's sumptuously decorated room swung open, Griffin quickly took note of the occupants gathered there. The anxious captain sat at a broad desk, his ruddy features framed by a pair of enormous sideburns.

One of his sideburns is three centimeters higher than the other, Griffin noted. He also noticed a distinct nicotine stain on the right side of the captain's lips, an indication that the captain was a frequent tobacco smoker.

Next to him stood a young boy of about ten, wearing a sailor suit and absently playing with a fountain pen. His clothes were neatly pressed, but Griffin noticed that there were three stray threads on his left sleeve, that the brim of his hat was crumpled, and that his shoes were dirty. A woman sat in a chair against the wall opposite them, shrouded in a black veil and wearing a glittering silver ring on her left hand. Griffin couldn't tell much about her and assumed that she must be a guest of the captain's.

On the other side of the room, sitting in a comfortable leather chair, was a scruffy man wearing a battered brown derby.

As Griffin scanned the room, taking in all the details, a slow smile spread across his face. He glanced over at the scruffy man, who happened to be his uncle Rupert, and gave him a quick nod.

His uncle's features relaxed for the first time since they'd embarked on the urgent journey to Boston. Griffin could tell his uncle knew that he'd solved the case.

But Griffin also knew that this was no time to celebrate. He was too worried about his parents to truly enjoy his victory. The missing telescope had been a welcome diversion from his anxiety, but it hadn't helped the boat move any faster.

And until he solved the greater mystery concerning his parents' disappearance, he would never truly be able to rest.

Chapter Two


If you had used my latest invention, the Snodgrass Radiated Footprint Scanner, you might have had an easier time locating those tracks," Rupert Snodgrass said. He sniffed with self-importance. "However, you seem to have done it anyway, even without my help," he added.

Griffin smiled, thinking about his uncle's incredible engineering skill. Rupert tended to name each of his inventions after himself, calling it the "Snodgrass such and such." And although each of the devices was remarkable and more amazing than anything Griffin ever could have imagined, it seemed that somehow, inevitably, his uncle never got the credit or the fame he desired.

Some of Griffin's favorites were the Snodgrass Lightning Boiler (an electric teapot), the Snodgrass Haberdash Weather Repeller (a hat with a small umbrella sticking out of it), the Snodgrass Super Finder (a machine that found lost metal objects), and his most favorite invention of all, the Snodgrass Mechanized Manservant, which was an actual walking, talking, steam-driven, mechanical man named Watts!

"Now, tell me again, how exactly did you arrive at the conclusion that the captain's son had stolen his favorite spyglass?" Rupert asked.

Griffin hefted his small carpetbag as they made their way down the gangplank. The sights and sounds of Boston Harbor were all around him, and it was a relief to Griffin to finally be back home. He noticed that in one hand his uncle carried a satchel filled with some of his amazing inventions, and in the other he held Toby's leash.

Griffin glanced down at the happy, trotting hound, who seemed to be enjoying the sights and sounds of Boston Harbor as much as he was. The dog was clearly excited to be off the ship at last.

Griffin turned his attention back to his uncle's question.

"Well, it was pretty simple, actually," Griffin said. "First of all, I could tell that whoever had done it was probably someone small. The size of the greasy footprints that led from the engine room suggested that it was a child. That, and while I was in the engine room, I found something else."

Griffin indicated the pocket of his jacket with a tilt of his chin. Sticking out of it was something that looked like a black handkerchief.

He handed it to Rupert, who examined it as they followed the crowd onto the dock. The black cloth bore a rather crude representation of a skull and crossbones in its center.

"I could tell that the person who made this flag had used a particular kind of shoe polish to make it look black, the scent of which is rather distinctive," Griffin said. Rupert gave the cloth an experimental sniff and wrinkled his nose.

"So naturally it made sense that the person I was looking for was probably a child who was playing pirate and had access to various parts of the ship that others couldn't get into."

"Like the engine room," Rupert said.

"Exactly," Griffin replied. "I then traced the footprints from the engine room to the bow of the ship and found the missing eyepiece. I assumed that the boy had probably gone up there with the spyglass to pretend to look for enemy ships or a desert island."

Griffin and his uncle made their way across the dock, passing row upon row of sailing ships with tall masts. The pungent smell of brine and drying fishing nets was in the air, and because Griffin was so glad to be finally home, it almost, but not quite, smelled like perfume to him. He'd never enjoyed the smell of fish.

Seagulls squawked overhead, scanning the busy docks for any signs of unwanted food. The crowd had thinned as passengers met loved ones and dispersed to waiting carriages. As Rupert and Griffin moved toward a neat row of hansom cabs, Griffin continued with his account.

"Anyway, I assumed that while focusing the telescope, the boy had accidentally unscrewed the eyepiece and lost it when it dropped on deck. Feeling afraid that he would get in trouble with his father, he would have then hidden the telescope somewhere safe or thrown it overboard."

At his uncle's waving gesture, a black cab rolled up the cobblestone streets and stopped in front of them. As the cabbie disembarked and helped them with their luggage, Griffin continued.

"So I just followed the boy's tracks back upstairs to the captain's quarters. When the door opened, I could tell immediately from the scent, the marks of shoe polish on his hands, and the light grease on the heel of his right shoe that it was the captain's son who had taken the spyglass." Griffin shrugged and added humbly, "Not only that, but when I saw the creases in his sailor's cap, I assumed that he'd bent it into a different shape, probably to look like a pirate's hat. It really was pretty simple."

Rupert Snodgrass smirked and shook his head. It was hard to argue with his nephew's brilliance. It was also hard for him to accept the way Griffin reasoned his way through a case. His method of observation and deduction reminded him a lot of his rival, Sherlock Holmes. Even though he and Holmes had patched up their relationship, Rupert felt that he would never get over the sting of always feeling inferior to him.


Excerpted from The Future Door by Jason Lethcoe Copyright © 2011 by Jason Lethcoe. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jason Lethcoe has worked as a director, animator, and storyboard artist for the past 22 years. He is currently employed at Sony Pictures Animation. His work has been included in such features as The Little Mermaid and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. He is the recipient of several awards including the Chesley Award for Best Cover Illustration - Paperback Book for his most recent series,The Mysterious Mr. Spines.

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The Future Door 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
S-Scales More than 1 year ago
Reviewing a book like this is fun because I can involve the whole family! My oldest daughter is a fan of mysteries, so I knew she would be as excited about reading this together as I was. We started with No Place Like Holmes, which is book #1 of this juvenile fiction series. The stories in both books are fun, suspenseful and engaging. Griffin Sharpe with his keen observation skills and his uncle Rupert Snodgrass with his inventions make quite a detective team. As I read out loud through the books, my kids always wanted one more chapter. They liked hearing about Griffin, who was closer to their ages, but still so important in solving some serious mysteries. I liked the book series having a main character their age who learned the importance of accepting and using his gifts and talents. He was an example to his uncle who had been living in bitterness for most of his life. Griffin quietly but consistently lived his faith in Jesus. In this book the action centers around Rupert’s stolen time travel machine and the Moriartys (the bad guys we were introduced to in book 1). Hold on as they jump to the past, future, and present to save the future of London and the world. It’s fun to read their descriptions of different things in the future (which is our present), like chewing gum, GPS, and cars! I had my kids try to figure out what they were talking about! We are looking forward to reading more in this No Place Like Homes Series. “Please, Mr. Lethcoe, write more soon!” -Abbye, my oldest Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
For children's fiction written about Sherlock Holmes, I'm impressed. This book presented so much adventure, it can keep anyone intrigued. Above all, I'm stunned with how well the author inserts little tidbits about young Griffin's life as a Christian. It seems so effortless, and I wonder why other authors cannot achieve the same level of presenting true Christian children in their stories. "The Future Door" had me hooked. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that my favorite parts happened when Griffin took a leap through time and landed in modern day. I was tickled so many times by the "discoveries" Griffin made as he adjusted to the everyday life we live in. It was hilarious and it just kept going. Loved the book! Mr. Lethcoe, please write more books for this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a sequel to the book No Place like Holmes. This book, The Future Door, is a great book. If you are wanting a taste of a good mystery, then start of with No Place Like Holmes. If you do not take my word, and start this book first, well then, let me just say that you should read the books in order. Griffin Sharpe's uncle, Rupert Snodgrass, is an inventor. He creates some amazing inventions, including a time machine. Now Sherlock Holmes was living right next to Rupert's apartment. Griffin stays with his uncle for a while because they are the second best detectives. Maybe I shouldn't tell you more, you should read it yourself! This book has many Godly values and is a great Christian book. A must- read!!!!! Five stars!!
Mamakucingbooks More than 1 year ago
I have read "No Place Like Holmes" last year and was delight with the book. This second instalment did not disappoints me at all. In fact, I find it is better than the first book. Don't worry if you have yet to read the first book because you can still read this second instalment without reading the first book. I like the way the author combine element of mystery with futuristic elements. For me, it's refreshing. It is certainly a page turner. I managed to finished this book in 3 hours. Certainly recommend this book for kids around the age of 9 to 12 years old I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
cleffairy More than 1 year ago
This is the second time I read Jason Lethcoe’s book. The first one was ‘No Place Like Holmes’ and I must say that this book does not disappoint. I absolutely love this book and I enjoyed it as much as the precedessor. There’s so much to be discovered in this book and I couldn’t get the mystery out of my head when I read this book. Absolutely page-turning and I wouldn’t mind reading this book again and again in the near future. I highly recommends this book to those who loves a good juvenile mystery with plenty of moral story. Suitable for young children and teens. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
lauraofharvestlanecottage More than 1 year ago
My take on the book.... This is the second in the No Place Like Holmes series. It began a little slow for me. Whether that was because I'd not read the first book or not, I'm not sure. It actually took me a few chapters to get into it. It's a good thing I paid attention in the beginning. Everything means something in this book. Details! Details! The time traveling back and forth made some interesting problems. It got so twisted around that I didn't even want to put it down. The characters are well developed and likeable. The bad guys are very bad; but, the majority of the book is focusing on the good guys and how they're figuring it all out. I'm giving it to my children 12 and 14 to read next. It's juvenile fiction; and, I think it's good. I received this from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
JaguarHero1 More than 1 year ago
In the second volume of the detective work of Griffin Sharpe and his uncle Rupert, they have to race against the clock. Literally. When Professor Moriarty steals Rupert Snodgrass' time machine device, the present begins to change. They must find a way to save time, save Sherlock Holmes, and save the world from the evil looming bad guy. But Griffin knows he is not alone, so he uses his faith in God and the gifts God has given him to solve the case! I rather enjoyed this book. I think any age of Sherlock Holmes fans will enjoy it. Because the time-traveling idea is rather complex, and some of the diction is large, and the more darker scenes, I would say this book is more appropriate for ages around eight and up. Griffin is a remarkable young boy, who trusts God and tries to see the best in every situation. I think that aspect of him is really encouraging to children who are going through frustrating situations. Also, his clear wit and knack for solving problems is really cool and entertaining. I liked all the references to Sherlock Holmes, such as "the game is afoot". Plus, adding him and Watson as characters was a great idea. There is also mini-mysteries of Griffin Sharpe with the answers in the back, trivia questions about the book, and British-related recipes. I like the addition of those which brought me more into the story and understanding of the time period and Britain.
Alanna-Love More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes is a crime solving legend to those who have read the Arthur Conan Doyle stories and watched the old tv shows and films. But with his exploits slowly fading into the literary past, what about the younger generation? Will they never get to experience the brilliance of the world¿s greatest detective? Thankfully, Jason Lethcoe has brought Sherlock Holmes to the realms of juvenile literature with the series, No Place Like Holmes. A charming combination of history, adventure, and subtly presented Biblical principles, makes it a worthwhile read. Volume number two of the series is titled The Future Door, and for you to jump part way into the series, let me bring you up to speed on the world you are about to enter. Sherlock Holmes (resident of 221B Baker Street) has for a neighbor Rupert Snodgrass (resident of 221A Baker Street), an amateur detective and inventor who has always resented Sherlock¿s fame and his own lack of it. The main character of these stories is the twelve year old Griffin Sharpe, the nephew of Rupert Snodgrass. Griffin Sharpe is a detective with a Sherlock-like skill to notice details and put together the stories of what really happened. Book two picks up with Griffin returning home to Boson after visiting his Uncle Rupert Snodgrass and saving the world in book one. But they are not done with adventures yet because one of the most recent inventions his uncle has created is a time machine in a tea pot of all things. Moriarty (Sherlock¿s arch nemesis) and his equally evil nephew Nigel are out to get the time traveling tea pot and bring down the now retired Sherlock, and let evil reign the earth. They steal the tea pot and use information gathered from the future to kill Sherlock Holmes in the present. Can Griffin Sharpe and Rupert Snodgrass save time as we know it, and reverse Sherlock Holmes dreadful murder? A great adventure that will appeal to both boys and girls, The Future Door is a read which your kids will not want to miss not just for the high speed excitement of saving the world, but also for the love of Sherlock Holmes begin transferred to the next generation. The Future Door (No Place Like Holmes vol. 2) by Jason Lethcoe is a complementary book I received via BookSneeze. For links, cover images, and more, check out their website by the same name.
MommiesMiracles More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed a good mystery book and it all started with Sherlock Holmes so I thought that this book, in which Holmes is retired, might be an interesting read. I'm happy to report, I loved this book. "When Sherlock Holmes moves out of Baker Street, a new tenant moves in-a mysterious woman named Elizabeth who has long been a fan of Holmes. When she discovers that Griffin and his uncle are also detectives, she becomes very friendly. So when Elizabeth goes missing along with a special invention, Griffin sets out to rescue her. But finding Elizabeth will take them on a race against the clock that bends time itself!" The author brings brings these brilliant characters to life in a book that has surprises around every corner. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, to solve his mysteries Griffin will need to travel time and even has the opportunity to have tea, with himself! How exciting! You never know what is going to happen next and it leaves you begging for more. I love a book that captures the readers attention and holds on tight. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery dashed with a bit of suspense and a lot of good humor. Good for all ages, so prepare your detective gear and jump on in!