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Tell No Lies

Teenage Sherlock meets a female Moriarty in Heather W. Petty’s debut novel Lock & Mori.

Tell No Lies

BOOK REPORT for Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty

Cover Story: Moody
BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Origin Story
Bonus Factor: Sherlock Holmes Retelling
Anti-Bonus Factor: Patty Chase Award for Awful Parenting
Relationship Status: There’s Potential Here

Cover Story: Moody

I’m sure the models on this cover are lovely people, but … why so glum, chum? Don’t you realize who you are? Perhaps it’s the scenery from the bad horror movie below you that’s dragging you down.

(I do appreciate the nod to Sherlock with the outfit, however.)

The Deal:

Until a fateful fire alarm, James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes have never really spoken. But from their first meeting, Mori finds herself interested in his unusual ways and aloof manner. And when the two realize they’re both intrigued by a mysterious murder—and think that they could both do better than the police—they grow even closer. But a murder investigation is never fun and games, and neither are relationships when one or more parties aren’t completely truthful.

BFF Charm: Natalie Imbruglia

On the one hand, Mori’s a cool girl. She’s very intelligent, has great deductive skills, and is super protective of her brothers, even under absolutely terrible circumstances. (More on that below.)

On the other hand, she’s Moriarty. Regardless of how much I liked her for most of Lock & Mori, there’s something about her character that has me feeling like I’m going to want to be far removed from any sort of relationship with her in the future.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Although Mori and Sherlock hit it off in more ways than one, right from the start, there’s something not quite right about their relationship. I can’t quite decide if it’s poor writing, in that any true chemistry is missing, or really great writing, in that Heather W. Petty is playing up the characters’ canon personalities.

Talky Talk: Origin Story

Lock & Mori is told exclusively from the perspective of Mori, which is a unique move on Petty’s part. (In most Sherlock Holmes stories, the narrator is Watson.) Learning about her very first meeting with Sherlock makes for a fun origin story, and the story within the novel is a new one with an exciting twist (although it’s not a completely unexpected one).

I would have liked more, though. At 256 pages, the book isn’t that short, but there’s a lot of room for more character development, particularly on Sherlock’s part, and better development of Mori and Sherlock’s relationship. I wanted more passion and more fireworks, even if it meant drawing the plot out a little longer. I also would have loved to see more from certain familiar secondary characters, but I suppose that’s what sequels are for.

Bonus Factor: Sherlock Holmes Retelling

As I wrote about earlier this week, Sherlock Holmes retellings and derivatives are all the rage right now. And because Lock & Mori is about Moriarty and Sherlock (rather than say, Sherlock and Watson), it’s a fresh take on the genre.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Patty Chase Award for Awful Parenting

Mori’s dad is THE WORST. He’s abusive, both physically and mentally, he’s a mean drunk, and his career protects him from facing any real consequences. But, although I’ve never experienced it personally, I feel like his relationship with Mori is a pretty frighteningly accurate portrayal of such a messed up relationship.

Casting Call:

Felicity Jones as Mori

Harry Lloyd as Sherlock

Relationship Status: There’s Potential Here

I’m not fully sold on the strength of our chemistry, Book, but I do feel like we had an enjoyable first date. I’m game to meet up again, so long as we keep things interesting.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book by Simon & Schuster, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Lock & Mori is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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