The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match / by Elizabeth Eulberg. 12.7.2018

Bloomsbury USA Children’s ISBN 9781681190549

MS Grades 3-7     Rating: 4

Shelby Holmes is back with her best friend, John Watson, in the sequel to The Great Shelby Holmes, the middle school adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Young readers who love mysteries and mayhem will love Shelby’s story as she races into a new adventure that could change her life—and possibly end John’s.

When the caseload runs low in New York City, this pair of amateur sleuths is itching for a case to crack. Shelby, suspicious of the new teacher, is certain something is wrong—but John isn’t convinced. If Shelby’s hunch is right, though, Mr. Crosby could be in some serious trouble.

As a new case unfolds, Shelby seems to have a new nemesis who is always one step ahead. This anti-sleuth will do anything to beat Shelby, even create an unsolvable mystery. Can NYC’s greatest detective catch her nemesis at the scene of the crime?

While Shelby and John’s first adventure in The Great Shelby Holmes felt like a duplicate of the well-known Sherlock Holmes stories, Elizabeth Eulberg’s The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match feels like a unique story. Eulberg further develops Shelby and John’s personalities separate from Doyle’s original Holmes characters. Eulberg’s school setting allows John to explore middle school issues, like friendship, while listening to what his new classmates say about Shelby. John’s diary-style monologues allow readers to better connect with his character. Younger readers will also appreciate the variety of illustrations throughout the book that help tell the story.

The beginning pace of this second book is slower than the first book’s, which may deter some action-seeking readers. However, readers who can read until the new case surfaces will find all the action and mystery they could want.

Rebecca Schriner, CLJ

Earlier Title Reviewed by CLJThe Great Shelby Holmes (Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2017).