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The 100-Year-Old Secret (2010)

por Tracy Barrett

Séries: The Sherlock Files (1)

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3251162,260 (3.42)5
Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is a nice brother-sister mystery series. Barrett sets the stories in London, and notes cultural aspects that will benefit American children. ( )
  lrquinn | Jul 6, 2018 |
Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting.
  lkmuir | Dec 7, 2015 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 4-7

Plot Summary: Xena, Xander and their parents are new to London. To pass the time before starting at a new school on Monday they play a family game guessing the job of passersby. One of the passersby press a note into Xena's hand and warns "it disappears fast." They quickly read the note and debate whether or not they should go to the pub listed. Curious, they go and when they use the secret phrase are escorted to a dark storage area and locked in. Thankfully, they solve the clues on the boxes and Leroy Brown and a bunch of people from the Society of the Preservation of Famous Detectives reveal themselves and hand over Sherlock Holmes' book of unsolved mysteries. Xena and Xander resolve to try to solve at least one of them for the sake of their ancestor.

The first mystery to solve is the case of the missing artwork by Nigel Batheson. He was famous for his paintings, but one of them has been missing for a very long time. Xena and Xander try to find the clues to solve the mystery. Will they find it before his art exhibit opens?

Setting: London

Characters:
Xena - 12 y/o,
Xander - 10 y/o, Xena's younger brother, has a photographic memory
Andrew - cousin who is short with Xena and Xander
Nigel Batheson - artist

Recurring Themes: mystery, art, theft, embarrassment, photographic memory, clues, Sherlock Holmes,

Controversial Issues: none

Personal Thoughts: This book did not stay with me. I didn't think the characters were well-enough developed, I thought the clues were silly, and it was a little predictable. The author did a good job of balancing involved and available parents while still giving the siblings some independence to solve the clues on their own. I'm still not sure why the parents didn't tell them they were the descendants of Sherlock Holmes.

Genre: mystery

Pacing: slow-medium; little to no character development, clues were silly
Characters:
Frame:
Storyline:

Activity: Paint Girl in the Purple Hat; dress up as the other gender ( )
  pigeonlover | Mar 3, 2014 |
This will be a good series. Mysteries set in England with good characters in a realistic story. Pleasant change from some other mysteries. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 27, 2013 |
When Xander and Xena's family relocates to London, these siblings discover that they are direct descendents of Sherlock Holmes. They are inducted into a secret society and entrusted with a notebook containing Holmes' unsolved cases . . . some of which have tantalizing clues that might lead to solutions, even after so many years!

Sherlock Holmes, always relatively popular, has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, what with the movies and the TV series and all. I can think of at least three children's mystery book series that are in some way related to Holmes. I have to admit that, while I have enjoyed some of the original Holmes stories and some of the recent adaptations, I'm not an expert on Holmes trivia, so I won't comment too much on that aspect of this story. The Holmes angle in this book mostly serves to tie together a possible series, rather than playing directly into the details of this particular story.

In general, the writing in this story was good. The plot was strong, with enough clues and red herrings to make things interesting. Xena and Xander are not particularly memorable characters, but they are fine for a plot-driven mystery. The things that the siblings encounter, and the actions that they take to uncover clues, are believable -- they are things that kids could conceivably accomplish. I don't feel any compulsion to read more books in this series. However, I will certainly keep this book in mind for when kids come into the library looking for mysteries. ( )
  foggidawn | Nov 13, 2012 |
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If they hadn't been playing the Game that day, if the ballet dancer hadn't happened to walk by, if Xander's dimples and and big dark blue eyes hadn't been so appealing, and especially if Xena had waited only five minutes before reading the mysterious note, perhaps none of it would have happened.
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Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting.

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