The great Shelby Holmes and the coldest case by Elizabeth Eulberg
Illus. by Matt Robertson. The Great Shelby Holmes series,
Book 3. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2018. ISBN: 9781408871515.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Themes: Friendship, New York, Family Issues, Separated parents, Mystery, Detectives, Problem Solving, Figure Skating Champions, Diabetes. The newspaper calls them 'Harlem's Smartest Sleuths' and so enters 9 year olds Shelby Holmes and John Watson on their next exciting case to solve.
After being contacted by Tatiana, the coach of a world famous figure skater Jordan Nelson, Shelby and John are drawn into a highly complex case involving difficult codes and intimidating characters. Both of these young detectives must go undercover to earn the trust of the champion figure skaters. Neither Shelby nor John can figure skate and this provides some entertaining moments as they avoid getting on the ice or spending as little time as possible going through figure skating routines. Through deductive reasoning and the deciphering of clues, the two friends eventually solve the case.
Throughout the story, Shelby's addiction to sugar and the fact her parents have banned neighbourhood shops from selling it to her, creates some light-hearted moments as Shelby thwarts this ban with clever solutions. John, on the other hand has diabetes, and is very careful with his diet. John is also dealing with his father visiting from out of town and his passionate wish that his parents would reunite. At times Shelby's whirlwind and single focused nature seems insensitive to John's angst and naturally cautious disposition but she surprises the reader with thoughtful actions in the end. There are clever illustrations dotted throughout the book which complement the fast paced action and enjoyable storyline.