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.