Book Review: The Lost Eye of the Serpent by Jeremy Phillips

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Title: The Lost Eye of the Serpent
Series: The Rose Delacroix Files: Book One

Author: Jeremy Phillips
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Publication Date: August 6, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Historical, Young Adult

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the-lost-eye-of-the-serpentThe Lost Eye of the Serpent
The Rose Delacroix Files Book One
Jeremy Phillips
Limitless Publishing, August 2016
ISBN 978-1-68058-747-0
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

It may sound crazy, but Jonathan Delacroix is certain his sister Rose really is Sherlock Holmes…

Girls are not detectives. But in the summer of 1893, in the small western town of Hope Springs, Rose Delacroix is bound and determined to prove them all wrong. When the famous Emerald Serpent Jewels are stolen from the Delacroix family hotel and the blame lands solely on her older brother Bill, Rose recruits Jonathan as her Watson-like counterpart to solve the case.

Proving your brother innocent is difficult when the evidence keeps stacking up against him…

Before Rose and Jonathan can properly start their investigation, another robbery is committed. The rusty revolver purported to have once belonged to Wild Bill Hickok has been stolen from the general store and found hidden amongst her brother’s belongings. With Bill in jail, and the owner of the Serpent Jewels planning to sue the Delacroix hotel, Rose knows she has to find a lead, and soon.

A witness comes forward claiming they saw Bill steal the jewels, but Rose isn’t about to be bullied into ignoring the facts…

Rose and Jonathan must put their sleuthing skills to the test or witness their family fall to ruin due to…

…the lost eye of the serpent.

If you’re looking for a nice little mystery for your favorite 10-or-12-year-old, The Lost Eye of the Serpent might be just the ticket and there’s an extra enticement for the kid who can be picky about gender. Some kids (usually, but not always, boys) have a strong preference for the main  character but, in this case, we have twins. The girl is the primary sleuth and the boy is her Dr. Watson plus being the narrator so the young reader should be happy either way.

While this book is billed as Young Adult, I really felt it falls more into the middle grade category. It’s true that Rose and Jon are 15 years old but, to me, their behavior is a little less  mature and the story itself is a bit simplistic. Also, the language is somewhat anachronistic, seemingly too modern, and it wouldn’t challenge teens to adapt to idioms and language patterns that were common in the late 1800s.

Having said all that, I do think this is an enjoyable story, even for adults, and I particularly recommend it for the young reader just getting into mysteries, especially those with a liking for the Sherlock Holmes method of deductive reasoning in solving crimes. These twins are quite appealing and I hope they’ll be back for more mysterious adventures.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2016.

About the Author

jeremy-phillipsJeremy Phillips has been interested in Buddhist philosophy for more than twenty years, and attends services at a Shin Buddhist temple in Spokane, Washington. When he isn’t writing or keeping busy being a father and husband, he works as a Respiratory Therapist at several different hospitals. He lives in Spokane with his wife, children, dogs, and bonsai trees.

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