Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventures of Samuel Blackthorne

Adventures of Samuel Blackthorne: Book One: Case of the Cat with the Missing Ear (Samuel Blackthorne #1)
Scott Emerson, illustrated by Viv Mullett
Simon & Schuster, 2003
$15.95, Hardcover
April 4th, 2012

Genre: Mystery
Age: 8+
Description: Dr. Edward R. Smithfield, returning from war, meets up with Mr. Samuel Blackthorne and agrees to room with the terrier. Soon he comes to the realization that the dog is a consulting detective and he offers to include Smithfield in his cases. When Miss Molly Kirkpatrick seeks out Samuel’s help in finding her brother, Patrick, who is missing they are on the case. It involves a tangled web of shanghaied sailors, tough thugs, a corrupt mayoral candidate, gambling rackets, and a mysterious one-eared orange cat.
Opinion: This is a fun mystery that basically plays homage to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson but with the unique twist of an all animal (mainly dogs) anthropomorphic cast of characters living in San Francisco. The book begins exactly like the first Sherlock Holmes mystery with Watson/Smithfield returning from war and meeting Holmes/Blackthorne who totally deduces his whole life for him. The mystery of this plot is unique but does manage to incorporate many of Holmes personality traits. I am a huge Holmes fan so I naturally enjoyed the story; however, it might go over the head of its intended audience who aren’t familiar with Holmes and might be perceived as boring. This is probably why, sadly, a second book was never published. Highly recommended for Holmes fans though.

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