Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes, #1)” as Want to Read:
Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,813 Ratings  ·  856 Reviews
1868 England, Sherlock Holmes 14 unexpectedly summers with Farnham relations, befriends orphan Matt. Why does a dark cloud float from a corpse covered in red boils? Sherlock fights, runs, gets caught, drugged, whipped, ordered killed; defending bystander is fatally knifed. Americans, logical tutor Amyus Crowe and daughter Virginia in well-fitting breeches help.
Paperback, 313 pages
Published June 4th 2010 by Macmillan Children's
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I'm going to put this book in the 'not bad, but could have been better' classification. I have my own perceptions about how young Sherlock Holmes would be and this one isn't real close to my ideas. Yeah, I'm not sure I can clarify that right now, so I won't try. I just found the book disappointing in how it did craft young Holmes.

I did like the fact that Holmes has a mentor in an American who brings to mind a cross between Mark Twain and Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday. Mr. Crow helps to develop Holmes'
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
I'm just going to get this review out of the way, because I have a lot of reviews to do and not much to say about this book.

Essentially, Death Cloud is the first book in a series about a teenage Sherlock Holmes. According to the original cover of this book, he looked a lot like Justin Bieber in his youth:


Basically, J. Biebs Sherlock Holmes is trying to solve a mystery in this book involving a mysterious cloud that has been descending on people and leaving them dead with creepy boils all over
A book recounting the childhood of Sherlock Holmes should be fascinating, witty, clever, and interesting. Death Cloud is none of those things. Sherlock Holmes has endured in popularity because of his unique personality--but Andrew Lane doesn't give his Holmes any personality at all. In my mind, a young Sherlock would be much like Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce: brash, brilliant, and imaginative with a thirst for knowledge and adventure. According to Lane, however, Holmes never showed any particul ...more
Feb 24, 2011 j marked it as to-not-read-ever  ·  review of another edition
[image error]
It's elementary, my dear Usher.

"To Justin Bieber she is always THE woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Robyn Rihanna Fenty. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his swooping, precise but admirably balanced bangs.

He was, I take it, the most perfect grin flashing and eyelash-fluttering machine that the world has seen,
Jackie "the Librarian"
I find Sherlock Holmes MUCH more interesting as an extremely educated, arrogant drug-using eccentric than as a smart, highly coiffed, but not-particularly-peculiar teenager. But then, what can you expect when Sherlock appears to be a Justin Bieber clone on the cover of the book? I know Sherlock, and the Bieb is not him.
The set up: Fourteen-year-old Sherlock is left to his own devices when he is sent to spend school holiday with a distant aunt and uncle. He explores the surrounding woods and mee
Sep 26, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay I have seen these books listed and displayed in numerous places but never really thought about reading them until i was presented with an offer too good to resist - (how many books have I bought with those very lines I wonder) but I was about to buy the entire series - in paperback - for the price of a single title.

Anyway I do love a good Sherlock story however there are so many of them around - based on every aspect and era of his life including those not mentioned in the Doyle originals
Giovanni Gelati
Feb 23, 2011 Giovanni Gelati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you seen the cover of this YA novel? It appears to me that Justin Bieber is Sherlock Holmes. I am not hating on the Bieb’s mind you, I am just trying to say I was a bit surprised. The only two people left sporting such a hair do left were, I thought, the Biebs and Tom Brady. But I digress. Having said absolutely nothing at all constructive about the novel, I turn the post and the blog over to daughter number five as she took one look at the cover and said, ”What the hey, I’ll give it a shot ...more
Бранимир Събев
Aug 03, 2014 Бранимир Събев rated it it was amazing
"Всяка история си има начало..."

Когато за пръв път Артър Конан Дойл ни запознава с безсмъртния си герой Шерлок Холмс в първата история за него - "Етюд в червено", то пристрастеният към лулата, цигулката и кокаина велик детектив е в Христова възраст с установени навици, развити умения и изграден стил на работа. Но какво е било преди това? За това ще ви разкаже авторът Андрю Лейн.

Годината е 1868-а и 14-годишният Шерлок Холмс с разочарование научава, че през ваканцията няма да остане у дома заедно
Cait Grace
Nov 29, 2014 Cait Grace rated it did not like it
I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and a huge un-fan (totally a thing) of this book. What even is this?!! I love Sherlock Holmes because he’s SMART. The “young Holmes” was one of the dumbest most incompetent teenagers I’ve ever read. I am so furious right now. Because:
a) I was freaking bored
b) the mystery sucked
c) the villains were so cliché I choked
d) Did I mention how boring the book was?
e) there was no “Sherlock-ness” about this book. None. At all.

This is the strength of little Sherlie’s dedu
Jubilation Lee
I went into this book with a certain amount of trepidation—I blame this solely on the cover, which featured a 14-year-old boy with perfectly tousled Justin-Bieber-Before-The-Haircut hair. My brain sort of exploded at that, because it was so… not Holmes. But I suspended my disbelief. Surely,I told myself, consulting detectives were once small teen pop idol lookalikes, right? Right!

Once I actually got into the book itself, though, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the silly thing was. I
Apr 19, 2011 Sarai rated it it was ok
This review contains spoilers.

The book was okay, but I did have some issues with it. First of all, it wasn't much of a mystery. It was a mystery for Sherlock to figure out but there was nothing for the reader to figure out. Second, the author kept repeating himself and I would have expected an editor to catch it but apparently not. There were a couple of times where Sherlock turned away and then in the very next paragraph he turned away again.

There were other things that made me feel like the a
Oct 02, 2012 TL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
a fitting tale of young Sherlock... i could hear sherlock's 'voice' quite well and fell into the tale quite easily... the new characters (matty, amyus, virginia) were fleshed out well and I loved their personalities.

The 'case' Sherlock and company were solving was fairly exciting in parts and when the conclusion was revealed I wanted to turn and smack the villain and utter a few choice words, devious but also an idiot he was.. but I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him as of yet.

It wa
An enjoyable take on how a young Sherlock Holmes may have grown up. However I personally have a very different idea about what a young Sherlock Holmes would have been like. As such I found myself a little under-awed by the work in this novel. It still is a fine example of story-telling aimed at children that can be enjoyed by adults however.

I feel that perhaps personally one of the great things about Sherlock Holmes is his mysterious past. No one truly knows who the man is or where he came from.
Nov 18, 2010 Tony rated it liked it
Canny writers/publishers/producers have been cottoning on to the notion that there's money to be made in mining the adolescent and teen years of male heroes -- witness The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones or the Young Bond series. And since Sherlock Holmes is in all likelihood the most pastiched fictional character in history, it came as little surprise to come across this first in what will likely be a lengthy series of "Young Sherlock Holmes" books. Although I do enjoy the Sherlock Holmes can ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Angelc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Death Cloud" is the first in a series of the adventures of young Sherlock Holmes. The book has been approved by the Sir. Author Conan Doyle estate, so you know it's going to be good! This book is really the perfect combination of action/adventure and logical explanations. I love the logic Sherlock is starting to cultivate, and it's great to see everything explained in a detailed way. The explanation of the Death Cloud itself is quite intriguing.

I loved the characters, Sherlock is so lovable in
Jabiz Raisdana
I can see why young readers would like this book- adventure, creepy bad guys, mysterious and cool little facts about things,(Like bees and history)but this genre and this book were not for me. It took me forever to finish this one because the characters felt flat and the plot bizarre.

I think I like my fiction a bit more realistic, my characters a bit more dysfunctional and awkward and the writing a bit more crafted. Not much on theme or craft here, but it is a fun ride for those of you who like
Janine Zachariae
Aug 10, 2015 Janine Zachariae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sommerferien und Sherlock muss zu Tante und Onkel Holmes, die er kaum kennt.
Anfangs findet er alles recht langweilig, doch dann lernt er Matty kennen.
Mycroft engagiert einen Lehrer, der eigentlich keiner ist und plötzlich findet Sherlock einen toten Mann, der seltsame Beulen aufweist.
Typisch Sherlock: mischt sich überall ein und versucht etwas logisches zu erschließen.

Die Geschichte ist gut geschrieben, spannend und Abenteuer reich. An manchen Stellen hat es sich etwas hin gezögert, aber vielle
This was a quick, entertaining read - an enjoyable kids' historical action/adventure/mystery (with a nice amount of educational information sprinkled into the plot without it coming off too pedagogical).

I liked the characters well enough, even though none of them truly grabbed me (but I don't usually expect much character development from a relatively short children's book, especially if it's the first of a series). I liked Matty, Amyus Crowe was interesting if not exactly unsubtle in the "let's
Sep 13, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sherlock Holmes. And by that I don’t just mean I love Robert Downey Jr., though I do, I really love the Arthur Conan Doyle stories of this unstable genius of a man. However, I wasn’t all that excited to read about Sherlock as a kid. Then something on the cover caught my eye and reassured me. This is the first series about young Sherlock Holmes to be endorsed/approved by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate.

Everything about this book is amazing and CRAZY.
Sherlock has to go live with his uncle an
Aug 22, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2012
Death Cloud is a prequel to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. It is the first book in an developing series that shows the development of Sherlock Holmes. In the first installment, teenage Sherlock is sent to spend a summer with his aunt and uncle in a small town where he uncovers the truth behind two mysterious deaths. He is assisted by his wise American tutor, Amyus Crowe, Crowe's daughter and a homeless boy. Through the course of the novel, Sherlock makes his first friends, escapes death numero ...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created, and the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories remain popular, as do many spin-offs in both books and film for adults and young people. A new series by British writer Andrew Lane imagines Sherlock as a fourteen-year old boy solving his first murder mysteries. The first volume in this series, Death Cloud, starts off a bit slowly but soon turns into an intriguing murder mystery.

Andrew Lane writes that his intention with thi
May 16, 2012 Cassie rated it really liked it
Where do I start? This book was definitely exciting and filled with revelations. I actually bought this book months ago but got to the first page and couldn't bring myself to keep on reading it, so it sat in my book box for a long time. I felt like reading it one night, though, so I picked it up and I'm really glad I did. Its the first in a series of adventures featuring young Sherlock Holmes and, naturally, with that name comes great expectations of a story that can bring you to the edge of you ...more
Lynn Worton
Feb 26, 2012 Lynn Worton rated it it was amazing
Sherlock is fourteen years old and he's been sent to stay with his Aunt and Uncle in the country. He meets Matty Arnatt, another fourteen year old and they become friends. Matty sees something mysterious and this sets the course for Sherlock's new life.

As I said in my review of Young Sherlock Holmes: Fire Storm, I just had to get the first three books in this series. This is the first book, and it is just as fantastic as the fourth one! I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes! He thinks fast on his fe
Mar 28, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
I've grown up knowing who Sherlock Holmes was, but most of my knowledge base was from Disney's "The Great Mouse Detective." More recently, I enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr. movie and the British tv series. I decided to give the actual literature I try. I'm half way through my second short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and am enjoying them. So I was excited about the premiss of this book, especially since it's endorsed by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate.

Even with that limited exposure to the w
Feb 12, 2011 Amber rated it it was amazing
I was absolutely thrilled when I received my ARC of Andrew Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud. From Dr. House to the new BBC adaptation, we are culturally inundated with Sherlock Holmes characters so I was excited to see a different perspective on Holmes’ past. Death Cloud follows Sherlock during his summer vacation from boarding school. With his father sent to India with the Royal Navy and his brother Mycroft working in the busy city of London, Sherlock is shipped off to relatives who he ...more
Oct 15, 2011 mstan rated it liked it
The story begins promisingly with Sherlock's brother Mycroft coming to inform him that Sherlock would not be spending his vacation at home, but instead, with his uncle and aunt, whom he had never seen.

And yes, that is young Sherlock Holmes we are talking about, and this is accessible Holmes for young adults, quite easy to read and fast-paced.

Adults would find characters like Amyus Crowe, Sherlock's tutor, and Mycroft, his elder brother (who seems to be some big shot in an intelligence office) in
May 12, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little leery digging into a YA novel that delved into the origins of Sherlock Holmes. The very origins that are so widely speculated upon and debated upon by Holmes scholars with very little consensus.

I went into the novel with fairly low expectations and was frankly, quite impressed. While, what was presented by Lane may or may not pass muster with the scholars, I found the story engaging and the characters colorful and believable and am looking forward to reading the other books in the
I liked this book. I liked the story and I liked the characters. The problem was that it didn't feel much like a book about Sherlock Holmes. I know it's the first in the series and Sherock's character will probably develop a lot, but he just felt too much like a normal boy to ever become the Sherlock Holmes we know and love. Also, I thought the romance was corny and unoriginal, and I spotted many minor plotholes along the way. Still, things I did like were (view spoiler) ...more
Jun 14, 2010 Catherine rated it it was amazing
Ahh! What a brilliantly exciting read. I enjoyed it oh so much and honestly could barely put it down, especially the last 5 chapters. I thought it was an extremely worthy take on what Sherlock Holmes could have been like at 14.

Just an all round good read. Brilliant characters, non-stop action, plucky kids beating out the adults. What more could you want from a kids' action adventure type book? Plus there was plenty in there for the maturer reader. Especially those well acquainted with Holmes' c
Oct 25, 2015 Paopiggy rated it liked it
A young Sherlock who wasn't so eccentric. Meh. But this was still an interesting read, considering I felt the need to finish it in one go.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Eye of the Crow (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #5)
  • Torn from Troy (Odyssey of a Slave #1)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes/Book 2
  • The Patient's Eyes
  • The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas  (Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars #1)
  • The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Nine Pound Hammer (The Clockwork Dark, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Silver Jaguar Society Mysteries #2)
  • Montmorency On The Rocks: Doctor, Aristocrat, Murderer? (Montmorency, #2)
  • Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie
  • Secret Letters
  • The Moriarty Papers: The Schemes and Adventures of the Great Nemesis of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes

Other Books in the Series

Young Sherlock Holmes (8 books)
  • Red Leech (Young Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • Black Ice (Young Sherlock Holmes, #3)
  • Fire Storm (Young Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • Snake Bite (Young Sherlock Holmes, #5)
  • Knife Edge (Young Sherlock Holmes, #6)
  • Stone Cold (Young Sherlock Holmes, #7)
  • Night Break (Young Sherlock Holmes, #8)

Share This Book

“The door opened after a few moments. Sherlock was looking slightly upwards, expecting Amyus Crowe to be standing inside the doorway, and for a moment he was confused by the empty space. His gaze droped, and he felt his heart stutter as it came to rest on the face of a girl at the same level as his own. Her cloths were dark, and in the shadows of the hall her face seemed to be floating in mid-air.” 5 likes
More quotes…