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Secret Letters

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,715 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin's ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devast ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published June 26th 2012)
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Caroline Liberatore Yes! It wasn't completely structured around Sherlock, in fact (kind of spoiler) he doesn't make an appearance, personally, in the book at all. BUT the…moreYes! It wasn't completely structured around Sherlock, in fact (kind of spoiler) he doesn't make an appearance, personally, in the book at all. BUT the mystery and the main character are both something that Sherlock fans can enjoy :)(less)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,715 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Leah Scheier
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Author's review:
Well, I wrote it. I thought of giving it a low star rating just to confuse people but I just couldn't do it. I love my little debut novel and I hope you will too.
Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads

As a big fan of Y.S.Lee and The Agency series, I HAD to read Secret Letters by Leah Scheier as soon as I got it! With that said, I don't think I need to mention that Secret Letters is a Victorian mystery. So, let's jump into my thoughts about this novel right now!

Plot: The premise of a young girl whose father is the most remarkable detective in England immediately grabbed my attention. Secret Letters is in fact an intriguing Victorian mystery that hooked
Chelsey Wolford
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this author! Leah is probably one of the kindest that I have run across since I have been blogging! Her writing is just as sweet as her nature. She took a storyline with a Sherlock twist and made it a masterpiece. When an author takes an already well known piece of literature like Sherlock Holmes or any fairy tale, they are taking a chance in retelling it. All of the classics are already great so to rewrite one with a modern day twist or even a spin off in any context or genre ...more
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: August 21st 2016
Rating 3qqq

“I really miss the thought of you. I miss the hope that my future could've been a brilliant one–that you might have made it so. But I don't regret the dream even if it's gone now. And I want to thank you for inspiring it.”

(view spoiler)
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
As a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was very intrigued by the premise of this novel. I want to be honest in saying that I did not finish it. Of what I did read, I found the writing to be very heavy-handed (lots of telling rather than showing). The first chapter, in particular, felt very rushed - with little introduction to the protagonist as a character, readers are swept up to Baker St., awkwardly dumped with all sorts of background information that would have been more interesting if it had bee ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes retellings.
If they are done right.
Enola Holmes is a wonderful series. The Baker Street Irregulars amused me as a kid. The Sherlockians was full of entertaining short stories.
But Sherlcok Holmes as a Father? Really??
I just can't see it. I refuse to believe one of the greatest detectives in history was made into a melodramatic bachelor because the girl he loved married another man. No. It is to cliche.
Secret Letters really wasn't a bad book. In fact, as
Clare Cannon
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+ (females)

A Sherlock Holmes inspiration that's impossible to put down. As I became intrigued by the developing mystery I just hoped that the story would be worthwhile, but soon I was so captivated by the two main characters that even if the story was average I knew I'd need to spend more time with them.

The story was good, though not quite superb (and with such great characters, it really could have been!). The problem wasn't the scandals from the past, they were handled much like they are in the class
Soarin Soraya
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secret Letters is the type of story that has been lacking lately, in my opinion. We see all these mysteries solved by young women thanks to some supernatural force but almost never with their own wit. And that, that right there is where Secret Letters swoops in and steals the show. Dora’s thoughts are quick and precise, her dialogue so snappy that the reader can’t help but feel proud of the observations and comebacks as if they were their own. The characters leap from the page with an instant c ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars!

This is a fantastic debut by Scheier. I think she has an incredible style in writing and that this novel is a really unique mix of chick-lit and mystery that appeals to YA readers. Dora is an easy going and easy to relate to main character. She knows what she wants and she isn't going to let anything get in her way of getting it, and she's ridiculously cunning and smart. She always has a plan and although they may not always work out, she doesn't let a little bump in the road get in he
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2013
Dora dreams of escaping her rule filled society life. She dreams of traveling to London and working to help solve mysteries. Dora also has a secret, she is the daughter of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. She finds herself traveling to London to meet with him about a case involving her cousin, who is being blackmailed. When she arrives however she learns that Holmes has been killed in Switzerland. Now Dora must deal with the loss of a father she never knew and find her place in society. She ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC for me to review. Second...I absolutely loved this book!

The story is basically a Sherlock Holmes tale for a younger demographic and aimed more at the girl side of things. While told in a classic mystery style, the main character, Dora, is a young woman. Though it takes place in Victorian London, Dora defies society's norms to help a fellow detective catch murderer. The style of the Holmes novels is kept throughout the story. Secret Letter
I was engrossed in the story the whole way through and the mystery kept me on my toes. This was a fascinating story about Dora, a young amateur lady detective in Victorian London who starts off just trying to protect her cousin but ends up in a mystery bigger than she thought possible. My favourite character in the story was Peter, a young detective who helps Dora with the case and who values Dora's input and intelligence.

The one thing I didn't like was that it seemed like almost every secondar
Yara Abdou
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the mystery, the evolution of the characters and the underlying friendship that grew between many different characters. And I was happy with how the book ended!!!!!!! I love it so much!!!! I would like to see a second book, maybe?
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book!
Had me on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire book.
The mystery was interesting and wasn't how I thought it would end.
This book comes with surprises, adventure and mystery!
I highly recommend this book if you like a good adventure/mystery.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine young adult read. Lovely characters and very enjoyable story.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12+
I picked this book up because I was intrigued by the premise that Dora, the protagonist, is traveling to London to look up her possible biological father, Sherlock Holmes. I love Sherlock Holmes and a good Victorian mystery, but unfortunately, several pages into the book Dora learns that Sherlock Holmes has died (drowned by a waterfall, no less), and then the reader never hears mention of him again throughout the rest of the book. That was disappointing.

This novel started out strong, but lost st
Cheryl A
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-historical
With a beautiful cover and an enticing blub, this title screamed "read me", so I did. I'm a big fan of Victorian mysteries and really enjoy the young adult genre, so I was looking forward to this debut work.

Fifteen year old Dora Joyce is a orphan who discovered upon her mother's death bed that her biological father was none other than the famous Sherlock Holmes. When her cousin, Adelaide, is blackmailed over old love letters, Dora convinces her to engage Mr. Holmes to find the culprit. Unfortuna
Headstrong and clever, sixteen-year-old Dora is not about to act the proper Victorian lady. She would much rather solve mysteries like her idol Sherlock Holmes. When a blackmailer threatens her beloved cousin's happy marriage, Dora heads off with her cousin to London to consult the great Sherlock Holmes. Dora is excited and even nervous to meet the great detective; not just because he is her idol, but because he is also her biological father. Upon arriving on Holmes' doorstep, Dora learns that S ...more
Colleen Fauchelle
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely Y.A book. It has no zombies, no vampires no witches.
Set in the time of Sherlock Holmes. Dora (Which by the way was the name of my Godmother) wants to escape her aristocratic life to solve mysteries. When she find out her cousins love letters are held for ransom. It becomes the perfect chance to go to London to met Sherlock Holmes, who could be her real father. She discovers on the Doorstep of Sherlock's home that he is dead. That is when she meets the Young detective Peter Cart
I'm not going to rate this, because I had a lot of problems with it, but those were mostly my own, due to the fact that we had a mini-section on Holmes intertexts in Reading History in Children's Books. We looked at Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock series and Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes books, so the (possible) daughter would have fit right in there. I have to say that I think each of the series we considered did a better job of the tailoring of the canonical Holmes to child readers today than Sch ...more
Thank you to NetGalley for making this book available.

Anyone who loves mysteries and Victorian England will love this book.(You know who you are.)

Dora believes that her biological father is Sherlock Holmes. She finally travels to meet him at the exact time that his death is announced. She has always loved the art of observation and detecting. She begins working with a young man that she meets in front of Sherlock Holmes' home to find the person who stole love letters from her cousin and is now
Lynne Stringer
I enjoyed Secret Letters. It was an entertaining story about a girl in Sherlock Homes' day who aspires to be a detective. I liked Dora and enjoyed her interplay with Peter.
The only thing I found a little unbelievable was that Lord Victor would pull this girl in the window when she was dangling from a tree outside his bedroom window and not ask any questions about why she was there! While he may have been distracted by the situation he was in, it seemed a bit unrealistic that he wouldn't at leas
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great eye catching cover! Grabs readers attention! Secret Letters is a great novel and is sure to please any age reader. It will be great for my middle school age kids looking for a good mystery. It’s hard to find a good mystery and this one is sure to fit the bill. The main character Dora is a great fun character that many readers would love to trade places with for a day while reading Secret Letters. If anyone likes Sherlock Holmes this is a great story to recommend to them. Over all a very go ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I really liked this book (I think mostly because it takes place in England in the late 19th, early 20th century... LOVE!) Also because involved an evasive, mysterious detective guy. 'Secret Letters' is the story of Sherlock Holmes' illegitimate daughter attempting to solve intertwined mysteries to save her Aunt and others from scandal. I think the author did a good job making her first novel unpredictable and engaging way.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dora Joyce, from an upstanding family, wishes to become a private investigator. She gets her chance when her loving cousin is blackmailed, and Dora, hoping to consult the famous Sherlock Holmes but meeting the enigmatic Peter Cartwright instead, goes undercover as a housemaid. Recommended for fans of The Agency.
May 24, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book looks really interesting! And I'm open to the whole idea of Sherlock Holmes having a daughter. Afterall, I fell for the child thing in the Mary Russell series. Neat looking cover and I'd definately love to read this, so I entered the ARC contest. :D
Mary Bronson
I loved this book! It was such a great read. I loved the characters and plot. It was very well written. Once I got started I could not put the book down. I thought it was interesting how Dora's father was Sherlock Hol,es. I hope that Leah Scheier makes a sequal to this book.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book filled with thrilling suspenses, exciting mystery and adventure. Probably one of my favorite books!
Cindy (A Uniquely Edible Magic)
See for the full review.

The Plot
Dora is bored of country life and spends much of her time attempting detective work (or rather, observing minute details about things and drawing conclusions from them). When her sister is being blackmailed, she travels with her cousin to London, ostensibly to enlist the great detective Sherlock Holmes's help in finding out the identity of the blackmailer. However, Dora has another reason for wantin
My reaction:

I had a lot of issues with Secret Letters, but it was still an enjoyable, entertaining enough read.

To start off with, you have to take the whole book with a grain (or perhaps several) of salt. The entire premise is somewhat far-fetched; even the idea that Dora would be assisting on a mystery case requires a suspension of disbelief. She's so overconfident in her abilities, especially in the first half of the story, and really manages to bungle things up sometimes. There was more tha
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Leah Scheier was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, she was inspired by her favorite authors, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, and C.S. Lewis to dream up tales of adventure and romance. Now grown up with daughters of her own, Leah works as a pediatrician and continues to create new stories.
Her first novel, SECRET LETTERS, came out 6/26/12 (Hyperion/Disney). Her second novel, YOUR V

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