Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud
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The year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer’s son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education – the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously ‘unwell’, Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent . . .
The Death Cloud is the first in a series of novels in which the iconic detective is reimagined as a brilliant, troubled and engaging teenager – creating unputdownable detective adventures that remain true to the spirit of the original books.
but he could come up with some likely theories. For instance, two men associated with a clothes factory had died, apparently of smallpox or plague. Did that mean the clothes themselves were somehow contaminated? Sherlock had a feeling, picked up by things he had read in his father’s newspapers, that most cloth was manufactured in the mill towns of northern England, Scotland and Ireland, but some, he knew, was imported from abroad – China, if it was silk, and usually India for muslin or cotton.
past here and stop for a while?’ ‘Yeah. They went past me and stopped down there.’ He nodded his head towards the point where Sherlock had seen the rider. ‘Seemed like they were looking at something, then they rode away.’ ‘Did you recognize them?’ ‘I weren’t really paying attention. Does it matter?’ Sherlock shook his head. ‘Probably not.’ They rode together down the road towards Farnham, in the opposite direction to the one that the rider had taken. It had been a while since Sherlock had
nodded. ‘There’s rutted tracks leadin’ out of the gates and along the road,’ Crowe continued. ‘Looks to me like they’ve skedaddled.’ Sherlock looked in confusion at Virginia. She smiled. ‘Left,’ she explained. ‘Run away.’ ‘Oh. Right.’ He filed that one away for the future. ‘Let’s head down the road and see what we find,’ Crowe shouted, and urged his horse on. Virginia was right behind him. Sherlock and Matty exchanged glances and followed. About five minutes further on, they found a tavern –
like some hard-shelled creature that lived at the bottom of the sea. He thrust the clock back at the thug, screeching, ‘You buy for son! You buy for son!’ The ex-boxer pushed him away again, harder, and this time he stumbled against the oil lamp and knocked it against the wall. The glass smashed and the oil spilt over the stallholder’s blanket. The wick, still wet, fell on to the blanket as well, setting it alight. The flames took hold quickly as the stallholder stood there. Then, thrashing his
spread and the bees would probably get us.’ Matty looked around. ‘What are they eating?’ he asked. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘We’re in the English Channel. There’s no flowers out here, and I don’t think seaweed counts. What are the bees eating?’ Sherlock thought for a moment. ‘That’s a good question. I don’t know.’ He glanced around. ‘Let’s look round, in case we find something. Split up, and meet on the other side. Don’t get caught.’ Matty headed left and Sherlock headed right. Looking back,