Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty – Review

Lock & Mori
By Heather W. Petty
Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
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Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)

Knock, knock. It’s a modern day adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, kind of like the brilliant one done by the BBC except this time they’re teenagers and we’ve lost nearly all the emotional depth of the show.

The novel focuses in on Sherlock (Lock) and Moriarty (Mori) and their burgeoning relationship with each other. The father of one of their classmates is murdered and since the police are content to leave the murder unsolved, Sherlock challenges Moriarty to solve the case with him. Moriarty is unsure of her feelings. She has her brothers to think of and what would her cop father think if he knew she was mucking up crime scenes?

All of these questions and more are vaguely brought up in Lock & Mori without any real resolution.

I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of low reviews lately and I don’t like it, but this one needs some explanation. I was so on board for this book. As soon as I realized that Moriarty was female, I was 100% pumped up.

The problem is that Moriarty is our POV character and since the author wants us to engage/sympathize with Moriarty, she loses that cunning, adversarial nature that I was looking for. Instead we have a girl who says she’s clever and shows it to us by talking formally. Moriarty feels like a normal person and maybe if both her and Sherlock had been nothing more than eccentric kids who were clever, it would have worked.

Instead Sherlock is strange and obviously different from the rest of the students (to the point where he gets to have his own lab in the school). but Moriarty is just a vulnerable teenage girl who’s trying to be strong enough to support her family. That’s not bad in and of itself, but why attach the Moriarty moniker? (Also, why keep the name as James Moriarty? I know they call it out in the book, but it’s still not properly explained. Don’t hand wave this away, book).

Everything in Lock & Mori feels railroaded and done in service of the plot. Need to make Sherlock seem smarter than the police? Rather than making Sherlock more intelligent, let’s make the police mind-numbingly stupid.

They didn’t have to be adversaries (although that would have been rad), but I was hoping for equals at least. Moriarty is not Sherlock’s equal in this novel. Sherlock leads her around, interrupts and deduces things about her, and she gets internally flustered/frustrated with both him and how much she wants to kiss him.

If that’s your thing? Then you are going to love Lock & Mori. If it’s not, give A Nameless Witch a try.

But it’s not my thing.

The writing is fine, the mystery is serviceable, and one thing I really liked was that Watson is a bit of a smart ass. I need more sarcastic Watson in my life.

4/10
If all you’re looking for is to see Sherlock and Moriarty kiss, then this is the novel for you.

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