Clueing for Looks – Sherlock Holmes in YA


After a fall semester of fiascos: getting arrested, then kidnapped, then blown up in an explosion (all thanks to the weird but brilliant Philip Digby), Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring. Now that Digby has left town, she’s finally built a regular high school life for herself. She’s dating Miles, the alternate QB; she knows girls she considers friends; she’s learning to enjoy being normal and semi-popular. Which of course is when Digby comes back: He’s got a new lead on his missing sister and he needs Zoe’s help.

Suddenly Zoe is tussling with a billionaire arch-villain, locking horns with armed goons, and digging into what makes the Digby family tick, even as she tries to navigate the confusing and emotionally fraught world of high school politics and locker-room drama. After all, it’s hard to explain Digby to a boy like Miles, especially when Zoe isn’t sure how she feels about Digby herself—or how he feels about her.

Now that Digby’s back, get ready for another hilarious whodunit filled with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic, dynamic duo you’ve ever met. And just try to stay out of trouble.

We dare you.

Discovering my love of Sherlock was something that stemmed from my obsession with Doctor Who, and ever since I found out about how much I adored this sociopathic, completely brilliant, but also adorably oblivious consulting detective, I knew my love couldn’t be confined to just watching the BBC series. I mean, when you have to wait three years between series, you’ve undeniably got to quench your thirst for the dynamic duo elsewhere. Sometimes rewatching the old episodes just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need new stories with Sherlock and John, or even with these iconic characters reimagined.


The first book (or series, really) that I read which involved a reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters was Every Breath by Ellie Marney. To this day, I still get all heart-eye emojis about this series and Rachel and Mycroft and their crime-solving adventures. That series was one of the very first #LoveOzYA novels I read and it was recommended to me by my writing teacher and judge of the Scarlet Stiletto Awards, a crime-writing short story competition for women writers in Australia. I just completely fell in love with the lives of Rachel and Mycroft and I adored their relationship, and I’m still recommending it to people today.


And then I read Trouble is a Friend of Mine, another crime series that revolves around characters that are based off Conan Doyle’s imaginings and involves looking for clues, solving crimes, and has an air of mystery about it which will make it impossible to put down. Whether you love Sherlock already and want to enhance your obsession, or you don’t really know much about Sherlock but enjoy crime / mystery novels, you should definitely check out Trouble is a Friend of Mine.


Since it had been a while since I read Trouble is a Friend of Mine before launching into Trouble Makes a Comeback, I’d actually forgotten how much I loved Zoe and Digby. They’re both such loveable, quirky characters and I adored their relationship. If you shipped these two cuties in the first novel, then wait until you get your hands on this one. Although there is a love-triangle and normally I detest anything with a love-triangle, the way this one was written didn’t seem fake or forced, and it really added enjoyment to the story. Seeing these three try to interact was so endearing, and the whole novel was just a lot of fun.


Although Zoe and Digby aren’t explicitly referred to as characters that are based off Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, the way they work together and solve mysteries can’t help but emit that same feel. I loved seeing the deductions that Digby made and found that Zoe’s responses were often similar to what John would say in BBC Sherlock. Their interactions were so fun to watch, and now I’m desperate to get my hands on the third book in the series! If you’re a fan of crime / mystery novels and are looking for one with two snippy, amusing protagonists, I highly recommend checking out this series.


Besides these two series, I’m disappointed to say that I haven’t really read many other Sherlock-esque YA novels that really grabbed me. I’ve heard a few good things about A Study in Charlotte, but I haven’t had the time to pick that one up yet. So I need some recommendations! What are some of your favourite YA crime / mystery novels? Have you read Every Breath or Trouble is a Friend of Mine and can recommend some books that are similar to those ones? GIVE ME ALL THE RECS!


5 Stars

Let's Talk

Have you read either Every Breath or Trouble is a Friend of Mine? Do you watch BBC Sherlock, or have you seen any other Sherlock Holmes shows or movies? What do you think of the new series of Sherlock? Do you have any good crime novel recommendations for me? Fangirl about Sherlock Holmes with me!

Thanks to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy of Trouble Makes a Comeback in exchange for an honest review!

Gorgeous header art made by actual talented artists, unlike myself. You can find the background, flower crown, and Sherlock drawing at their respective links.

You might like

Every Breath • Black • Dangerous Lies


23 thoughts on “Clueing for Looks – Sherlock Holmes in YA

  1. I haven’t read them, but i can say that i’m a huge fan of BBC Sherlock! *o* The first episode of season 4 was, to be honest, a bit of a disappointment for me and i didn’t really like it, and this is the first time this ever happened, but the second episode which came out last night… IT. WAS. AMAZING. I’m actually re-watching it right now as i type these down! *-*

    • YAY! I’m so happy you love BBC Sherlock too! 🎉 SHERLOCK FANS UNITE 🙌🏼 I agree with you. I didn’t even get emotional when *you know who did you know what* because it didn’t feel real! Then again, I haven’t seen the second episode yet so they might pull a Sherlock, if you know what I mean 😉 But I’ll be watching it very very soon! A part of me is like, should I watch each episode a year apart so I won’t have to wait as long for the next series? 😂 But NAH! I NEED MORE SHERLOCK 😍

  2. I think the first episode of the new series was not too good, but things definitely returned to form in the lying detective episode. Next week should be spectacular!
    I’m a bit of a Sherlock Holmes fan having been to the museum a few times, read all of Conan Doyle’s stories, played the board games and have watched the older tv and film versions. But my favourite 2 Sherlocks are Cumberbatch and Downey Jr.

    • I definitely agree – and so does the majority of Sherlock fans, I think! I can’t wait to watch the next episode 🎉 And I’ve been to the museum too! It was honest one of the best days of my life to go there, and then go to the door that they use as 221B for the show and eat a Sherlock Wrap at Speedy’s Cafe! 👌🏼💯 But WOW! You’re really dedicated. I’ve just read most of Conan Doyle’s stories, but my true love lies with BBC Sherlock 😍

      • Ooh what’s a Sherlock Wrap? The last time I went was before Sherlock came on air, so may need to pay another visit!
        Sherlock Holmes is permanently on TV on some channel in England, whether it is Sherlock, or other older series like Young Sherlock or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

    • I’VE WATCHED THE FIRST ONE AND I’LL BE WATCHING THE SECOND VERY SOON! 🎉 Please DM me because I have so many feels and they’re eating away at me 😫😭 I love her series so much, and I definitely think you should check out Trouble is a Friend of Mine! It’s a bit lighter and more fun than really intense, but definitely still worth a read. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 💖

  3. I love Sherlock! I can’t wait to watch more of it soon, it is really cool when I find books based on it out there. I would love to read them all!

  4. Love Sherlock Holmes! I’ve grown up with his stories and watch every TV/movie adaption they come out with. I’ve only watched episode 1 of the most recent Sherlock season and really enjoyed it (though I was sad with some of the plot progressions).

    The closest book I’ve read to a true Sherlock Holmes novel is The Daemoniac by Kat Ross. The writing style is very similar–detailed, methodical–as is the pacing. Harry isn’t quite like Sherlock but she is a good solver of mysteries. You could tell the series was inspired by the original Sherlock works.

  5. I love Sherlock. Always loved crime drama and other sub genres of the kind. Watched a lot of columbo and csi with my dad. You should really look at Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson. The main character is a little Sherlock like but in general the writing and plot are amazing! I might have a look at every breath. I prefer grittiness. Also I love the intelligence that goes into Sherlock! Growing up watching detectives solve murders they became super predictable but not Sherlock! Also massive Doctor Who fan sadly the series has gone downhill for me since David Tennant left. I used to watch the really old Doctor Who’s and their hilarious in comparison to today’s visual effects!

  6. Sherlock is definitely a favourite of mine ❤ I hadn't heard of this series but might give it a try – I definitely will be reading Every Breath soon though! I've heard so many fantastic things an I'm super excited 😉

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