The Final Step (Lock and Key #3)
Before James Moriarty and his sister Moria enrolled in Baskerville Academy, they were inseparable—as close to best friends as a brother and sister could be. But since setting foot on the boarding school’s campus, James has been different.
At Baskerville, he’s become cunning, deceptive, ruthless, sometimes reckless. And now that his roommate Sherlock Holmes has been expelled, there’s no one left to help Moira figure out what’s going on with her brother or to uncover the connection between a recent string of deaths.
To Moria, it seems obvious that someone has it out for the Moriarty family. First their father and then their family driver and now their legal guardian—clearly something is afoot. But to get the answers they need, they’ll first have to deal with an incriminating photograph, secret safe houses, and powerful enemies.
It’s a highly original and satisfying take on the Sherlock Holmes series as only master of suspense Ridley Pearson could envision. As Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says, “This tale will change the way you see Sherlock Holmes and leave you dying to know more.”
There are any number of middle grade books involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal character of Sherlock Holmes, including Andy Lane's fantastic Young Sherlock Holmes, Hearn's Baker Street Academy, Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes novels, Misri's Jewel of the Thames and Springer's Enola Holmes series, and the Lock and Key series is a nice twist, since the main characters are the Moriarty family. Moira is leery of her family's past, but James seems more willing to embrace it, and the exchanges they have as they work through their family legacy is interesting.
There are few murder mysteries for young readers, and they are much in demand. The killing of the lawyer was an appropriate choice-- close enough for the children to be concerned and affected, but not a family friend to add to their already considerable grief. Tying in the most recent murder to the long history of family tragedies wrapped up many of the plot lines nicely as well.