Author: Leah Scheier
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Historical Mystery
Release: June 26th, 2012
Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Indigo Chapters
Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin's ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead. Her dreams dashed, Dora is left to rely on her wits--and the assistance of an attractive yet enigmatic young detective--to save her cousin's reputation and help rescue a kidnapped heiress along the way. Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this gripping novel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice in young adult literature.
As a big fan of Y.S.Lee and The Agency series, I HAD to read Secret Letters by Leah Scheier as soon as I got it! With that said, I don't think I need to mention that Secret Letters is a Victorian mystery. So, let's jump into my thoughts about this novel right now!
Plot: The premise of a young girl whose father is the most remarkable detective in England immediately grabbed my attention. Secret Letters is in fact an intriguing Victorian mystery that hooked me right from the first page. Dora and her cousin Adelaide travel to London looking for a detective who could help them in finding the mysterious person who's threatening Adelaide's reputation. However, for Dora, this is not the only reason she travels to London. In fact, she goes there not only to support her cousin but to have the chance to finally meet his illegitimate father and popular detective Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, the daughter-father relationship can never be explored, nor we can ever meet the great detective, because he dies in the very first chapter. I was a bit sad that Sherlock would not be a character in the story as I first thought but I dismissed that feeling at the very moment I knew of his death. Why? because at that very moment Peter Cartwright showed up. ❤
Characters: The characters is what I most liked about the book. Dora, the young girl whose deductive skills are worth of a daughter of Mr. Holmes, is a very strong and smart character. She can easily see through the surface. Her intuitive and deductive skills are certainly what I most like about her. I think that Scheier did a wonderful job showing-off Dora's detective potential. Then, there's Peter! Oh Peter! Here is the male character of the story, the hero, the kick-butt guy and the potential love interest. Peter is a young detective in London who meets Dora at the very beginning of the story. He offers Dora the services of his Mentor to help them solve the mystery that brought Dora and her cousin to London. Peter is just so charming and intelligent! Plus the dialogues between him and Dora are very interesting. Cleverness and chemistry at its best! Besides Dora and Peter there are many side characters but somehow I did not get too attached to them. For me, Dora and Peter are the stars of this novel.
Setting: As I previously mentioned, the setting is Victorian London, yet I did not feel myself transported to this particular time period. This is the one thing that didn't satisfy my reading experience which is a pitty, since the Victorian setting was one of the main reason I was dying to read this novel. I think that maybe more detailed description would have helped me. I love descriptions by the way, specially when it comes to historical settings. Unfortunately, I didn't get this from Secret Letter and I really missed the Victorian atmosphere that I am so in love with.
So, when it comes to the Victorian atmosphere I wish I could have had more. But regardless this, I enjoyed this novel and I'd like to know what happen next with Dora in another mysterious adventure. Overall, Secret Letters is a good mystery novel with charming main characters that I'd love to see again.
❤Copy received from Hachette Book Group Canada for review - Thanks so much!❤
Visit the author's website at http://www.leahscheier.com