Book Review: The Baker Street Peculiars by Roger Langridge, Andy Hirsh

The Baker Street Peculiars is a children's graphic novel written by Roger Langridge and illustrated by Andy Hirsh. It puts a supernatural twist on the world of Sherlock Holmes. When a giant lion statue in Trafalgar Square comes to life and wreaks havoc on 1930's London, it seems like the perfect case for the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. With an overwhelmed caseload, however, Holmes recruits the help of three precocious young detectives-in-training (and one cunning golden retriever) to solve the mystery. Molly, Rajani, Humphrey, and Wellington (the dog) will have to work together and use all their wits if they are to uncover the truth behind the living statues and save London. But on the legendary Baker Street, nothing is as it seems and their biggest mystery might be the real identity of the famous detective who brought them together.

The Baker Street Peculiars is a interesting new take on Sherlock Holmes. The art work reminded me a first of the Asterix books, but seeing that Hirsh has done the art for Adventure Time and Regular Show the familiar feel of the work made much more sense to me. The story flips quite a bit of the Sherlock cannon, although some of it I will admit to expecting much quicker than I would have liked. I liked the inclusion of folklore, and the interplay between the main characters. I was glad to see some role reversal, and the fact that while adults do not play a big role in the story- the ones that do are as varied as real adults. They are not all bumbling fools or people eager to punish children. Rather, some are caring and overprotective, while others are vindictive or  oblivious to the odd things going on around them. I liked the take on Sherlock and that the mystery took a supernatural nature, but my favorite part was the odd trio of children that become our main characters. I like that none are quite what you expect in a hero or detective, but they come together as a solid team.

The Baker Street Peculiars is a fun twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes cannon. The graphic novel is a well told and drawn story with a nice mix of characters. While it did not wow me, I liked the story and can think of many middle grade readers that will adore it.
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