Take 5: It’s Elementary (YA Fiction for fans of Sherlock)
While reading The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I couldn’t help but think that fans of the BBC Sherlock (or the CBS show Elementary) would enjoy reading it. Which got me thinking: What other YA books would Sherlock fans enjoy? Below is a list of 10 titles that fit the bill and I recommend. You may have your own recommendations, so please feel free to join the discussion. P.S., in case you didn’t know, I am absolutely obsessed with Sherlock. I am also convinced that the BBC has some of the best television happening right now.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Cassie is a natural born profiler, enlisted in a special FBI program that seeks to hone the special talents of teens. The Naturals get drawn into an active case when a package shows up at their dorm making it clear that this case is personal. Cassie is no longer safe and she doesn’t know who to trust.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell #1) by Laurie King
The retired Sherlock may have met his match in the form of one teenage girl named Mary Russell. Soon she is his pupil and they two are put to the test by a new, elusive villain.
A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by Y. S. Lee
Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is the cover for an all female investigative unit called The Agency. Mary Quinn is given one assignment: infiltrate a rich merchants house to find missing cargo ships. Is there anyone in the house Mary can trust? Want more historical fiction with female spies? Check out Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.”
Rory arrives in London the day a serial killer starts taking lives in a way that eerily resembles Jack the Ripper. Rory spotted a man she thought was the killer, but she seems to be the only one that saw him. Now, as the only witness, will she be his next victim?
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Since her brother disappeared, Lo’s desire to collect things has turned into obsession. When she discovers a butterly pendant, it may be a clue to help her find her missing brother.
Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan
What happens when Momento and Mullholland Drive meet M Night (but when he was still considered good)? This happens. Daniel is dragged to a camp/resort/vacation spot with his father. He feels drawn to the mysterious Lexi, but wonders why her bruises keep getting worse every time he sees her. A dark figure stalks them both and Daniel has to solve the mystery of Lexi before it is too late.
Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock
When her best friend dies, Mackenzie vows to hunt her killer – a white werewolf. In this world, werewolves live in plain sight. But there are dangerous secrets lurking in Hemlock that may make it hard for Mackenzie to keep her promise.
Eye of the Crow (The Boy Sherlock Holmes #1) by Shane Peacock
Granted, putting a young Sherlock Holmes title on the list may seem like cheating. But it is good and you should read it. Also, I feel like that is all I really need to say about this series: Young. Sherlock. Holmes.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley
Flavia de Luce is an 11 year old aspiring chemist that has a passion for poison. Don’t they all? First there is a dead bird with a postage stamp on its beak. Then there is a dead man in the cucumber patch. To Falvia the investigation is the stuff of science.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Technically, Code Name Verity is not a mystery. It is, in fact, a marvelous piece of historical fiction full of friendship, spies and female pilots. But you’ll have to pay attention while you read because the little things matter and you will be stunned by the amazing way Wein pulls all the pieces together to tell the details of this story – much like Sherlock solving a case.
Also, check out these programming ideas to celebrate all things Sherlock.
I know you have some titles to add to the list, right? Please share in the comments.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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