Friday, June 24, 2011

Sherlock Holmes heart Crows

So it is 1867. London.  Poverty is in abundance. Bigotry and bullying is the order of the day.  Thirteen year old Sherlock Holmes is half Jewish, smart, very analytical and is bullied at school and harassed by a gang of misfits known as The Irregulars; a gang led by a teen called Malefactor. The Irregulars are petty thieves, thugs and include two Jewish boys so their harassment of Holmes is not based on racial prejudice. 

There is the discovery of a dead young woman.  An Arab man, Mohammed Adalji, has been arrested for her murder and for robbery. He singles out the boy Holmes in a crowd to shout to him that he is innocent.  Soon, Holmes is arrested and placed in a cell beside Mohammed.  Holmes was seen going to the murder scene twice.  He was just following his friends, the crows, to the murder scene but he can't confess that to the police. The police believe Holmes and Mohammed are associates.  They can't find the woman's purse so they are hoping that by putting the two misfits next to each other they will get a confession or at least some revelation about the missing purse.

Crows; symbol of evil but also known to be smart birds, lovers of shiny things.  The reader can tell by page 48 that the crows are key to the mystery somehow. Other birds are mentioned magpies, jays, ravens but all belong to the crow family; the corvid family.  Fascinating story, Eye of the Crow, Sherlock Holmes first mystery by a writer who was himself fascinated by the writing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and all things "Sherlockian". 

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