Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016. 978-1449477899
Synopsis: Meet 10-year-old Samuel Tan Cher Lock, or, Sherlock Sam. He’s a boy detective with astute powers of observation, a love of comics, and an insatiable appetite. So what happens when the cookbook needed to make one of his favorite dishes goes missing? Along with his sister Wendy, classmate Jimmy, and his robot Watson, he’s on the case to recover the family heirloom!
Why I picked it up: I like kid detectives and fast-paced mysteries.
Why I finished it: Previously published overseas, Singapore’s Greatest Kid Detective makes his U.S. debut in style. The book draws on famous Singapore locations for its setting and the diversity and the culture really come to life. So, not only does Sherlock Sam have mystery and intrigue, there’s a history/social sciences lesson. Plus, all the talking about food was making me hungry – I love trying new foods and I’m eager to go to my local library to see if I can check out some books on how to experience some of the tasty treats I read about. Sherlock is a quirky character that is (intentionally) just as intelligent and resourceful as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective. The genius factor is played up just enough that readers will be able to follow most of Sherlock’s logic and deductions, and we are in awe of the cleverness exhibited by the young detective. The husband-wife writing team has crafted a story that is sure to keep us on our toes until the final pages. I really enjoyed the illustrations because they brought the story to life. They reminded me a lot of the Big Nate comics the way the lines are drawn and the way drewscape uses visuals to really bring home the humor. It’s a quick read sure to entice mystery lovers and reluctant readers alike. And be sure to check out Sherlock Sam’s Blog and Facebook page for even more of the boy detective.
Other related materials: Sherlock Sam and the Ghostly Moans in Fort Canning by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Alien Encounter on Pulau Ubin by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Vanishing Robot in Penang by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Cloaked Classmate in Macritchie by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Stolen Script in Balestier by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Fiendish Mastermind in Jurong by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Obento Bonanza in Tokyo by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Sherlock Sam and the Comic Book Caper in New York by A.J. Low, illustrations by drewscape; Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sarah Pennypacker, pictures by Marla Frazee; Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective books by Donald J. Sobol; Nate the Great books by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont; The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner; The Chicken Squad books by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell