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Young Miss Holmes, Casebook 1-2 [Paperback]

Kaoru Shintani

List Price: CDN$ 18.99
Price: CDN$ 13.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

March 13 2012 Young Miss Holmes
Christie Holmes is a prodigy. At ten years old, she's as familiar with the sciences and classics as any older student at Cambridge or Oxford. And her facility with logic is reminiscent of her uncle, the eminent Sherlock Holmes himself. So, what's a brilliant young girl to do when her parents are away in India, leaving her behind in the care of maids and servants? Solve mysteries, of course. Along with her giant hound Nelson, Christie's implacable curiosity leads her from one dangerous adventure to another, often joining forces with Uncle Sherlock and Doctor Watson on their famed investigations. Christie may look pint-sized, but her clever mind is never to be underestimated!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Seas; First Edition edition (March 13 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935934864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935934868
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #415,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars overall worth it March 19 2012
By Ashandorath - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book starts out to a rough start, trying to put a criminal case and the character expositions in the first story which is about half a manga volume in length. In the second story a gimmick is used, which fortunately seems to have been permanently dropped. Basically what I'm trying to say is the book only starts to shine in the second half (where it finds out what it wants to be), especially when sherlock starts playing less of a role, so it's good news that seven seas put 2 volumes in one book, or I would probably have considered the book to be little more than an entertaining loli-sherlock-gimmick.

Art:
The art is different than usual manga (it looks like the cover of the book). It is pretty much mediocre, but the style fits, and is a welcome change from normal manga. There is only character where the art just looks wrong. Fortunately, this character only appears in one story arc (sussex vampire arc).

Story:
The story leans heavily on the original sherlock holmes stories (e.g. the read headed league story). I haven't read all the sherlock holmes stories, but chances are most of the story arcs in this book are based on original sherlock holmes stories. So if you're a fan of sherlock holmes, you might not be surprised by who the culprit is. That said, it isn't a simple retelling of the tales. It is told from a different perspective and from time to time different deductions, as the protagonist (chrystal hope) basically races holmes to find who the culprit is first. As a result it's more like the same criminal case but a different story.

Characters:
While the characters are likeable, the only real character development is with the main protagonist, which I'd say is developed more than your average manga. You learn fairly little about her "helpers" unfortunately, but at least they are more than cardboard cutouts for the stage. Considering the amount I'd imagine that there will be more character development for the side characters in the future.
Chrystal hope is not a clone of sherlock holmes, both in terms of capability and character, and has an authentic feel to her. This shows in her lack of experience and on occasion knowledge, as well as a certain impulsiveness.

Story structures:
Basically it is a collection of seperate stories. There are some recurring characters (such as "X has joined the party"), but basically you are looking at several independant story arcs.

Conclusion
Overall the book is worth it's money, though part of that is how many pages you get for your money. And it seems to start heading in an interesting style in the second half. I originally bought this book only because I had a coupon, but I must admit I was pleasently surprised. While I don't consider this book to be a must-have, it certainly is a welcome addition to my book shelf.

It's strong points are characters, and story telling (though maybe not the story itself, due to the similarity with sherlock holmes stories as mentioned earlier). It's weak points are the first 2 stories, it's dependance on original sherlock holmes stories, and on occasion the art quality.

It should be pointed out that the book is on occasion of a more light hearted nature, however I don't remember seeing a chibi.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repurposing Sherlock with skill and humor May 5 2012
By Martha Cornog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a longtime reader of all the Holmes stories, I found Shintani's manga intelligent, clever, and quite delightful. He's taken the original Conan Doyle stories and reconfigured them so that Holmes' 10-year-old niece, Christie, is the main character. She doesn't substitute for Holmes, though. In some stories, she competes to solve the case before he does. In others, her detective work compliments his, and in still others, he's largely absent and she works out most of the clues. In some stories, the original Doyle plot remains as is. In others, additional characters have been added, and occasionally the resolution is different. All these mods are well-done and fit quite well with the Holmes and Watson universe. There's also a throughput element. Christie's character develops, and so does that of her wisecracking maid Nora, who learns to read. Moreover, Grace Dunbar, the governess in the "Thor Bridge" story, continues in later stories by becoming Christie's governess, which makes logical sense in the overall story arc. So Christie is assisted by a diverse team of women: pistol-packing Head Maid Hopkins, down-to-earth Nora (who wields a mean whip), and the bright and sensitive Grace. As for Uncle Sherlock, he takes all this in stride, sometimes getting annoyed, sometimes simply expecting that as a relative, of course she would be good at sleuthing, sometimes clearly one-upped. And sometimes he gets the drop on her, and she's the one put out. I recommend this series for newbies to the Holmes stories, and for fans who can enjoy the way Shintani plays with the Doyle plots. ("Young Miss Holmes" is a misnomer, as Christie's last name is Hope. Christie isn't Mycroft's daughter, but the daughter of a putative sister, who's in India with her husband and thus can't keep an eye on their unusual child.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable re-imagining of Doyle's classic detective mythos. Jan. 26 2013
By para - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This collection contains volumes 1 and 2 of Young Miss Holmes (as originally published).

Crystal "Christie" Margaret Hope is a ten year old with an array of knowledge far beyond her years, an insatiable curiosity, and an intellect on par with her famous uncle, Sherlock Holmes. With her parents away in India the Count's inquisitive daughter specializes in getting involved in her uncle's cases, whether he or the numerous maids and attendants trying to turn her into a "proper lady" like it or not.

The first volume contained here introduces Christie, establishes a solid supporting cast and retells some classic Sherlock Holmes stories. The second volume is primarily devoted to a crossover story with Dance in the Vampire Bund (which I liked despite not having read any of Dance, supernatural elements, and a slightly disappointing resolution) and is filled out with another retelling.

The stories range from two to five chapters long as Shintani allows the material to dictate the proper length. I found the characters to have well defined, interesting personalities and the stories engaging as they unfolded. There are nice touches of humor skillfully blended throughout. The art here is excellent and compliments the subject matter beautifully whether in action scenes or the numerous explanation scenes all mysteries have.

However this manga isn't without it's issues. It's not quite on par with the source material or original mystery manga like Kindaichi, and there are occasional pacing issues revolving around Sherlock and Christie figuring out the same things in parallel, leading the reader to get the same explanations twice. Purists will also definitely be bothered by Christie's prowess and the way she is shoehorned into familiar stories. Holmes' characteristic bluntness can also come off as rather harsh since it now is targeted at a ten year old trying to earn his respect as often as at Watson.

But I personally have no problems with re-imaginings, the key points of the mysteries are ingeniously adapted, and despite the minor flaws as a whole I really enjoyed Christie's adventures. So my ratings tilt goes slightly upward here, resulting in 4 stars. Know what you're getting going in, but if Young Miss Holmes sounds like something you might like Christie's adventures probably won't disappoint.
3.0 out of 5 stars Another spin on the classic Holmes tales! Dec 5 2013
By Suzi Hough - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With an uncle like Sherlock Holmes, it is any surprise that Christie Holmes is addicted to solving mysteries? A clever little girl with a great facility for logic, Christie’s education rivals that of a college student. With her parents away in India, she’s largely allowed to do as she pleases. With the rough but fierce Nora, a protective maid who can wield a whip with terrifying force, Christie tags along on some of her uncle’s most famous cases, always hoping to solve the mystery before he does.

Have you ever read one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and thought, “Yes, this is nice, but adding a little blonde girl would really round out the story!” then look no further. Young Miss Holmes is exactly what you’ve been longing for. But, if you’re like me, the thought never crossed your mind. I picked this book up not because of the Sherlock Holmes connection, but because I’ve been enjoying Gosho Aoyama’s "Case Closed" series and was looking for more mystery graphic novels to pass the time.

Each story is based on one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories. In this volume, we have new versions of “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”, “The Problem of Thor Bridge”, “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”, and “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”. While Holmes is usually brought into the case by the police or by a client, Christie must find her own way to wriggle in. Usually, she takes the social route. As a young girl from a wealthy, well-placed family, she is able to easily enter the homes of murder victims by offering herself as a companion for a grieving child or calling on homeowners as a representative of her family. Although she often reaches the same conclusion as her uncle, her approach is radically different, bringing something fresh to these otherwise familiar stories.

Two maids accompany Christie on most of her adventures. They’re polar opposites, with Christie soaking up etiquette and proper behavior from prim Annemarie and honing her street smarts with Nora. She also has an enormous dog for protection, and a wise governess who occasionally helps her young protégé consider her cases in a new light. It seems like an awfully large entourage accompanying a little girl on her investigations, but in actual practice she rarely has more than one or two companions at a time, so it works out.

One curious adaptation is the introduction of the supernatural to the story. In “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”, Sherlock Holmes and Christie both successfully prove that there are no vampires at work. But for some quirky reason, a vampire has been living in the ruins near the mansion where the mystery takes place, and she saves a wounded Christie from death with her “rose kiss”, which grants Christie a long life, rapid healing abilities, and immunity to all diseases. It seemed like an odd change, out of character with Sherlock Holmes and his devotion to reason and logic…but then again, Young Miss Holmes is a different story, and I guess in this version vampires and other paranormal creatures are fair game.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice new twist on the Holmes stories July 14 2013
By Vernon Shook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the stories entertaining. The artwork was "cute" but didn't take away from the stories. Side characters were interesting.
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