You know how parents reassure their kids that, if they’ve been good little boys and girls all year, Santa will bring them exactly what they want for Christmas? Well, I’ve practically been an angel this year, and I still haven’t received a new season of Sherlock yet. How’s a girl supposed to make a single Christmas special last all year?
The answer to this is my answer to most problems in life: by reading. The obvious choice, of course, is to read the original Arthur Conan Doyle tales, which are fantastic and absolutely must be on your reading list. But there are also some great YA stories out there that will put you in the Sherlock mood. Because we’re betting all you Sherlock junkies have already read and loved Heather W. Petty’s Lock & Mori (or have it atop your very long reading list), here are 5 more Sherlockian and Sherlock-adjacent novels to help you pass the time until Cumberbatch graces us with his crime-solving presence again.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly
You’re in like-minded company, so go ahead and admit it: part of what makes Sherlock so fascinating and attractive is the fact that he’s completely maddening. He’s rude, condescending, and sometimes downright intolerable. But that’s also why we love him, which is also why we’re sure to become just as entranced by Digby, the Sherlock-esque character at the center of this novel. Our protagonist Zoe has been sent to live with her mother in upstate New York after her parents’ divorce, and all she wants to do is get through the year so she can return to a boarding school in New York City. Then she meets the impossible Digby and somehow finds herself involved in his madcap investigation of a missing local girl, an event uncomfortably similar to the disappearance of his own sister years ago. Be prepared to be as inexplicably charmed by Digby as Zoe is. Would you want your surrogate Sherlock character to be any other way?
Hardcover $17.70 | $17.99
A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro
If you think Sherlock Holmes is moody and a bit volatile, just wait until you meet his great-great granddaughter. The Holmes and the Watsons are no longer on the closest terms, so Jamie Watson isn’t surprised he hasn’t met the youngest relative of his great-great grandfather’s famous partner. And when the two end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte hardly seems interested in befriending Jamie. She also appears to have inherited some of her famous family’s characteristics: the cold logic, the bad temper, even the drug habit. After a boy with a violent history with Charlotte is murdered, however, the two find themselves framed for the crime. Looks like a new generation of Watson and Holmes will have to team up to solve the case.
Jackaby, by William Ritter
Jackaby has been described as Doctor Who meets Sherlock, so I was charmed from the very beginning. Our heroine, Abigail Rook, has left England and is looking for adventure in 19th-century New England…but first she needs a job. Enter R.F. Jackaby, eccentric detective and hunter of the paranormal, who just so happens to need a new assistant (don’t ask what happened to his last one). There’s a serial killer on the loose, and though the police think it’s a human on the run, Jackaby knows the killer is nothing so mundane. Abigail doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but she’s got a good eye for detail and hey, a job’s a job. Of course, just because she doesn’t believe in the paranormal doesn’t mean she’s safe from whatever’s out there hurting people…
Paperback $10.79 | $11.99
The Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason
If you’ve ever wondered if the Holmes family and the Stoker family would get along, Colleen Gleason has you covered. Evaline Stoker is the younger sister of Bram Stoker, and a vampire hunter. Alvermina (Mina) Holmes is the daughter of Mycroft Holmes and, yes, the niece of the famous Sherlock. The two don’t get along too well, and really would prefer not to work together. But when socialites begin going missing around London, Irene Adler (yes, THAT Irene Adler) recruits the two to get to the bottom of the disappearances before more girls are taken. Think steampunk-crossover fanfiction featuring Egyptian cults and a mysterious time traveler. Yes, there’s a lot going on in this novel, but does any of that NOT sound awesome?
The Butterfly Clues, by Kate Ellison
After the death of her brother, Penelope Marin begins to take a turn for the worse. As her parents pull away from her, engulfed in their own pain, Lo’s OCD spirals out of control, and her penchant for collecting turns into full-fledged hoarding. After a close call in Neverland, a seedy part of Cleveland, Lo learns a girl named Sapphire has been murdered, and finds her stolen jewelry for sale at a flea market. Lo becomes obsessed with solving Sapphire’s murder, and with the help of a street artist named Flynt she dives into Cleveland’s dark underbelly. But sometimes when you go looking for answers you find out things you didn’t want to know, like how Lo’s brother’s death is connected with Sapphire’s murder…