Title: The Case of the Captive ClairvoyantBaker Street Boys - The Case of the Captive Clairvoyant
Author: Anthony Read
Illustrator: David Franklin
Pages: 160
Recommended Ages: 9 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★

Meet yet another version of the Baker Street Irregulars!

The Story.

Sparrow is relieved to be back on probation at the Music Hall . It’s true he got into some trouble before, but it was in the service of Mr. Holmes, and he promises never to get into trouble again… unless it’s necessary.

But trouble presents itself almost as soon as Sparrow is rehired. There are two new members in the theatre – a hypnotist and his assistant – and it’s obvious that the assistant, Mary, is unhappy.

As Sparrow talks more with Mary, he finds that she is more than unhappy – she’s terrified of her stepfather, the hypnotist. Can Sparrow and the rest of the Baker Street Irregulars help Mary escape from the evil man’s clutches? And can they deduce why Moriarty is involved in the case?

Discussion.

What makes this story unique amongst Holmes fan-fic is that, while Holmes’ rival, Moriarty, is present, Holmes himself is not. The children try to take their case to Mr. Holmes only to be told by Mrs. Hudson that he has “gone to Devon. Some trouble with a dog on Dartmoor”, which is an obvious and delightful reference to The Hound of the Baskervilles. :)

The story could have been much worse for Holmes’ absence. Instead it piped along rather well with Wiggins, the head of the Baker Street Irregulars, trying his hardest to personify Holmes. In the end, he has cleverly deduced the true state of affairs, out-maneuvering Inspector Lestrade, who is called onto the case.

By the end of the story, it seems that we are to believe that people can indeed be hypnotized. This, honestly, is not a field I’ve studied, so while my initial impulse is to say “oh phooey”, I recognize that there may be more credibility involved.

Mary mentions that she is sometimes asked to do séances – but that it is trickery.

When Sparrow first tells the rest of the Irregulars abou Mary’s plight, they tease him about being soft on her.

Some degree of deception is employed in helping Mary escape from her abusive step-father.

‘D***’ and ‘Lor’ are both used once.

Conclusion. A fun imitation story.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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