Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Every #1

Every Breath

Rate this book
Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who's also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He's even harder to resist when he's up close and personal - and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer's trail, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...

341 pages, Paperback

First published September 5, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ellie Marney

16 books903 followers
Ellie Marney is a NYT bestselling author of crime fiction. Her most recent book is Some Shall Break, the sequel to the Aurealis-winning None Shall Sleep, and her other titles include The Killing Code, the Every series - starting with Every Breath - and the companion novel No Limits, White Night, and the Circus Hearts series, starting with Circus Hearts 1.

Ellie's books are published in eleven countries and have been optioned for television. She’s spent a lifetime researching in mortuaries, talking to autopsy specialists, and asking former spies how to make explosives from household items, and now she lives quite sedately in south-eastern Australia with her family.

Find Ellie's newsletter sign-ups at her website, and catch her @elliemarney on socials or @elliemarneyauthor on Tiktok.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,119 (33%)
4 stars
1,380 (41%)
3 stars
614 (18%)
2 stars
155 (4%)
1 star
72 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 722 reviews
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,049 followers
October 9, 2015

I may never learn my lesson about not judging books by their cover and title because if Scarlett (see her review by clicking her name) hadn’t recommended this to me, I would probably have dismissed this as another common YA romance and wouldn’t have picked this up. Although, there’s little romance in the story, that is definitely not the focus.

The story (told by the female MC) centers on two teenagers, Rachel Watts and James Mycroft and their accidental involvement in a detective case when they found their friend, Homeless Dave, brutally murdered at a park one night. It helps that both characters are extremely smart and are genuinely interested in forensic science. Rachel actually describes James as the younger, much smarter brother of Sherlock although James simply describes himself as an academic genius and a social moron.^^

The story is a bit slow to start and a bit confusing especially when the reader is bombarded with a lot of faceless names. I clearly remember how I went through almost the same thing when I read On the Jellicoe Road (also written by an Australian author and set in Australia- both true of this book.) Come to think of it, it’s a really a good attention buildup technique.

When the pace towards the middle picks up, the events become more and more interesting until the book becomes unputdownable. I am right along with the MCs trying to solve the case and identifying probable links and suspects. What’s even more gripping is the way the story is written in a scientific but amusing way. Even the romance is scientific because the chemistry between James and Rachel is palpable. (Lame analogy, I know. Lol.)

The climax made me nervous like heck. Read the story to find out. I probably wouldn’t think of Simba as a cute animal for a very long time. Yikes!

It’s unavoidable that some parts are quite predictable. I’ve already suspected the culprit early on in the story and I was almost screaming at the MCs when they were foolishly entering the lion’s den figuratively and later on literally (lol) but the conclusion is still very satisfying and the ending earned a little squeal from me and a little happy approving dance. Lol.

Highly recommended for anyone looking for a YA crime-thriller with a tad of romance. Thank you, lovely Scarlett. <3

You might also want to read Paige's review.^^
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
October 21, 2014

Thank you Ms. Marney for writing this book, I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to read this ARC. I was having a miserable day but this story completely turned my mood around. I have nothing bad to say about this, the characters were genius (literally, in Mycroft's case), and I felt that the pacing was perfect.

I don't normally read murder mysteries, in fact I usually avoid them like the plague, and for this reason I am all the more impressed with how much this novel enchanted me. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.

Note: I received this book for fee in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
443 reviews712 followers
September 13, 2017
WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!! I couldn't remember when was the last time I devoured a book within two days and ahhhhh, this one was bloody amazing!

Full review may come a little later since there are two more books in this series! :D

But one thing is for sure: HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,908 reviews853 followers
January 3, 2016
My first obsession in reading was mysteries, with a little romance, of course. So when I heard the premise of Every Breath, a sort of teenage Sherlock Holmes genius, I was completely excited, and I’m happy to report it lived up to my high expectations! Mystery, romance, danger and even well placed humor made for an awesome start to this addictive series! I need book two, STAT!

Rachel Watts has had to move from the country to the crowded city of Melbourne, and the change wasn’t a welcome one. She pines away for the country as she adjusts to the harsh realities of city life. Cramped living spaces and a hardly seeing her family, all working hard to make ends meet separately instead of the team they once were on the farm.

James Mycroft, Rachel’s neighbor, is one of the bright spots in her life, even if his genius mind seems to get them into quite a bit of trouble. She’s never bored hanging around him, and her growing attraction to him is hard to ignore. When Rachel and Mycroft stumble upon their murdered friend, Homeless Dave, “the game is afoot” as they try and piece together the clues and get justice for Dave.

This story was a pure joy to read. The aspects of the mystery were fun and exciting. I felt like I was right there with Rachel and Mycroft deciphering clues, sizing up potential suspects, and trying to figure out a motive. There was plenty of danger, and at the end, that “light bulb” moment where everything comes together was wicked thrill ride! I liked the fact that even though these were teenagers trying to solve a crime it didn’t come off as unbelievable, as can happen sometimes in YA crime/mysteries.

But that was just part of the story. I enjoyed gradually getting to know both Rachel and Mycroft and see their relationship develop into more as they sleuthed about. Each had struggles, Rachel was adjusting to city life after financial crisis forces her family to move, and she’s understandably sad and bitter because she loved her life on the farm. Mycroft struggles with the loss of his family, and their love, often with self-destructive behavior. Rachel and Mycroft provide support and understanding for each other and grow closer as they do. It’s apparent to everyone around they’re more than just friends even if they’re the last ones to admit it. I loved their slow burn romance! This may be YA, but let me tell you their chemistry was off the charts once they finally get a clue!

There was a well developed cast of secondary characters: their awesome friends, Mai and Gus, as well as Rachel’s family make this the story come alive. I like that Rachel had caring, albeit imperfect, parents that were present and aware of their children’s actions and mental state.

Every Breath
was a breath of fresh air. As you may know I’ve had a struggle enjoying YA lately, but Ellie Marney’s talented writing captivated me with multi-layered characters, a twisty mystery and a swoon-worthy romance! Even though Every Breath wraps up nicely, I still can’t wait to pick up Every Word!

A copy was provided by Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review.

This review is also posted on The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Jana (Nikki).
290 reviews
October 21, 2014
This review can also be found at my blog, There were books involved...


Let's get one thing straight right off the bat -- I freaking loved this book.

I love Sherlock Holmes in general, so that blurb on the cover? What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door? YES PLEASE. A contemporary take on Sherlock/Watson, set in Australia? I AM SO THERE. Watson (Rachel Watts) is a girl, you say? DOUBLY THERE. Sherlock (James Mycroft) is a lanky British boy-genius-troublemaker with a tragic past? YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

...Why are you still here and not running off to order Every Breath?!

Oh, you want to read an actual review? ...Fair point. So let's get down to business.

First off, with anything that's compared to Sherlock Holmes, I had certain concerns going into it. I'm a very character-oriented reader, and I'm not a huge fan of mysteries for their own sakes: What I love about the original Sherlock Holmes is the characters - the mysteries are fun and all, but the characters are what make me love it. So the last thing I want in a Sherlock-inspired book are characters who were obviously modeled after the originals to the exclusion of standing on their own.

Well, I can say with absolute conviction that Ellie Marney's characters more than stand on their own. In fact, some things in this book might have been inspired by Sherlock Holmes, but really? I feel like Every Breath is just an excellent book, with some really fun Sherlock-ish coincidences here and there - icing on an already delicious cake, if you will. ;D

Every Breath is told from the perspective of Rachel Watts. Rachel is originally from a farm in the country, but (as of a few months before the start of the book) she and her family have recently been forced to move to the big city of Melbourne -- her definition of a nightmare. James Mycroft is Rachel's best friend. He lives only two doors down from Rachel -- and yes, he is brilliant. He's first in his class at school, but his main passion (obsession) is studying forensics, because of a tragic accident in his past. It's this accident that has shaped his life - and led him to have a reputation for being somewhat of a troublemaker.
Mycroft grins. "So, you've only been in the city four months and you're already the babysitter for the school's eccentric genius."

"It's been four and a half months. And if you were such a genius, you wouldn't have a black eye."

"I'm only a genius with facts. I'm an academic genius and a social moron."

"At least you admit to being a moron at something."

"I admit to being a moron at a lot of things. Being a moron in one or two areas serves to highlight my extraordinary brilliance in everything else."

Every Breath, US eARC, 5%

Both of them, Mycroft and Watts, are so believable, and so brilliantly developed. They fit together much like their namesakes - though they're incredibly different at first glance, they have more in common than you'd expect, and they balance each others' strengths and weaknesses so perfectly.
"...I could do this on my own, but . . . I don't want to."

"Right." I roll my eyes. "You need me to be your Watson."

"That's right."

"Because your genius doesn't work unless it's being lavished with attention."

Mycroft just grins. "Come on. I'll walk to you Biology."

Every Breath, US eARC, 19%

Mycroft and Watts are already good friends when the book starts -- which is so effortlessly established you just sort of fall into the story knowing that these two are going to give you feels. Rachel definitely feels something more for Mycroft, but she's also dealing with her recent move to the city, and some major discontent there, and she doesn't want to upset the balance between them, because she so values the friendship they both already share.
"You don't have to pretend with me, you know." He reaches out and tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear. His expression is so open and honest I feel it like a sucker punch. "I used to pretend, all the time, so I can spot it a mile away. If you're feeling shit, then just say so. I don't need to know the reason, it might be none of my business—"

"I'm feeling shit."

Every Breath, US eARC, 65%

But man, let me tell you, these two were not cut out for just friendship. Hello, new favorite OTP / I ship it so hard / I want to smoosh their faces together / etc, etc, etc. Realistic development? CHECK. Chemistry? CHECK. IN SPADES. Starting from page 5, not kidding.

The murder of one of Mycroft's friends, and its subsequent investigation, brings these two together even more. As they deal with everything and eventually decide to try and figure out what happened, it was so amazing to see them forming this partnership, a mutual respect for each others' strengths, and also to see them both being developed and growing as individual characters - especially Rachel, as she's really struggling throughout the book with her discontent in the city, and her anger at having to leave her home. I just have a lot of feels for these characters and their situations okay?
I have courage sometimes, in the strangest situations, when there are dead bodies with their throats cut in abandoned hollows of midnight parks. But I'm gutless most of the time, gutless enough to say things that slash and wound with the same violence as a knife across an old man's throat.

Every Breath, US eARC, 73%

Additionally, everything about the mystery and plot was handled SO WELL, especially considering that Mycroft and Watts are teenagers who decide to investigate a murder. I've tried to read a few contemporary mysteries where teens investigate stuff, or are somehow involved with police investigations, and there are so many potential believability issues, I can't deal with those books most of the time -- there are both plot issues, and issues of "would these teenagers actually act that way in these messed up situations?!" Every Breath was, excuse the metaphor, a serious breath of fresh air in this regard. I totally believed in Mycroft and Watts -- I believed that these characters would investigate things, and that they had a realistic chance of figuring things out. I never felt like they were acting in ways unrealistic to their characters or situations -- and they have to deal with some seriously messed up stuff... For example, we're not spared the grisly details of the murder scene, and those details do not escape Mycroft or Watts either -- they're not hardened cops investigating the latest murder scene, and they don't act like it. They are just so unbelievably believable...
...in reality he's just looking for the same answers that everyone who loses somebody looks for.

Because the questions aren't How did he die? or Who killed him? They're much simpler. How can this happen? How can someone who was alive suddenly just not be there anymore?

Every Breath, US eARC, 32%

In conclusion...

If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes and contemporary YA, read Every Breath. It's smart, it's clever -- and Mycroft and Watts have stolen my heart.

Like I said, I'm not one to pick up a mystery for its own sake, so when I love a mystery, there's got to be a reason. I was glued to these characters, and they made me become glued to the plot, as well. Mycroft and Watts made me care what was going on, got me invested in the outcome - and most of all, invested in the effect that their partnership and investigation was having on the two of them.



PS: Every Breath has been out in Australia for about a year, so this review was for an eARC of the US edition, being published by Tundra Books. After reading it, I was desperate for book 2, which is also already out in Australia, and I ended up ordering the Australian editions of both books 1 and 2 from Allen & Unwin's website - it was a little pricey, but so totally worth it. Every Word is, if you can believe it, even better than Every Breath (MY MYCROFT FEELS you guys don't even know), and I'm absolutely dying for Every Move, which comes out in March in Australia. And which I will also be ordering from Allen & Unwin, because I am in desperate need. DESPERATE. NEED.

All that to say, if you want to start a new series without worrying whether it continues to be awesome in subsequent books... this is the one to start.


There were books involved...
Profile Image for Paige  Bookdragon.
938 reviews612 followers
October 12, 2015
3.8 stars

"'Mycroft, don't be juvenile.'
'I am a juvenile.'

It's a mini Sherlock!

I always have this monstrous crush on Sherlock Holmes and it's always an auto-buy if I saw a book related to him. So when I saw Scarlett do a review for this one I immediately bought myself a copy.

It's not perfect but it does not disappoint.

First off, I like Mycroft's character.He may have the name of Sherlock's much smarter brother but he's pure Sherlock Holmes. He's an eccentric genius who doesn't give a fuck if some people doesn't like him. In fact, the more you don't like him, the more he'll goad you into punching him.

In a way he reminds me of Kelsier of The Final Empire.They have this air of abandon and recklessness that is endearing.

I love that.


I also like the progress of Mycroft and Rachel's romance. It was not rushed, it was sweet and the author wrote it in a way that you can really savor everything. The build up was amazing and when I finished reading the book, I was deeply satisfied with it.

The thing that hinders me giving this book full four star

The characters intellect and knowledge about crime scenes and stuffs: I know that this is a YA book so the characters were in high school. I get it that the characters were highly intellectual beings but I having a bit hard time accepting that all of them are adept in legal and crime things.

The setting: I'm really not familiar with the setting. It took me around 5 chapters to realize the story takes place in Australia. Speaking of Australia, hi Liam Hemsworth! *waves* And to be totally honest, I'm also not very familiar with Aussie humor and lingo. Sometimes, the characters will say something and they'll laugh but it'll take me a minute to figure it out then I'll give a belated laugh... *awkward*

But anyway, this book is still awesome. I like the mystery and I like the characters. It's different from the usual mystery books that we usually see here in GR. :)

Looking forward in reading book 2.
Profile Image for Braiden.
359 reviews206 followers
April 19, 2015
What the fuck have you done to me, Ellie?

This has been probably the only time that I've loved the romance instead of the central plot, the only time – really! – that I've wanted two central characters to get married already and have a family. Yeah, okay, I'm thinking about it a bit too early – BUT SERIOUSLY! Rachel and Mycroft are a perfect duo, and I've fallen for them. Both of them. HARD!

Did I really just say that? Did I really fucking say that I thought the romance was the best? Better than the action (well, there really wasn't any besides that sexual action)? Better than the mystery? Better than the fact that the book is set in Melbourne? YES! Why, yes I did.

I am embarrassed. COMPLETELY!

I ship Rachel and Mycroft to the grave.

Ellie, you have some explaining to do.


It is common knowledge here on Book Probe that I don’t have a strong affinity for romance in young adult novels – okay there are a few exceptions, Quintana and Froi for example. Most of the time I complain about the romance: ‘That’s incredibly cliché!’ ‘It distracts from the main story…’ ‘the romance stunts character growth’ ‘Ahhh! Instaluv!’ ‘No.’ ‘No.’ ‘Moooo!’ ‘Meh!’ ‘No.’ ‘Worthless…’

So it was incredibly embarrassing to finish reading Every Breath and want to ship a romance so much more than the actual book – which revolved around a crime, a damned crime! Blood and morgues and blood, oh my! I guess the main plot was the building block for the fondness between Rachel [Watts] and [James] Mycroft to begin, which flourished more and more as the duo became closer to solving their first murder investigation.

Think Sherlock Holmes and Watson – but modern-day teenage versions, trying to cope in a world that has wounded them in their own personal ways: Rachel having to move from Five Mile – content with her quiet, farm life – to the city (Melbourne); Mycroft having to move from London after the death of his parents to live with his next of kin, his aunt in Melbourne.

Two teens struggling to fit in; two teens coping together, in a world that doesn’t understand them.

I guess there was much more to the romance between Rachel and Mycroft that I loved. Their romance was due to their characters. And that’s something I rarely come across in young adult literature. They don’t get together for the sake of having a boyfriend or a girlfriend or to give female readers something to fall to their knees for, no. They get together because they need each other.

A lonely genius, a frequent offender. An impulsive ex-farm girl, a rebellious daughter who knows much more than her family thinks she does.

Okay, nope. To love these two characters was not embarrassing – it was gratifying!

Mycroft grins, ‘So, you’ve only been in the city four months and you’re already the babysitter for the school’s eccentric genius.’
‘It’s been four and a half months. And if you were such a genius, you wouldn’t have a black eye.’
‘I’m only a genius with facts. I’m an academic genius and a social moron.’
‘At least you admit to being a moron at something.’
‘I admit to being a moron at lots of things. Being a moron in one or two areas serves to highlight my extraordinary brilliance in everything else.’

So, yep. There’s you’re Sherlock and Watson, folks. From just the above passage you learn so much about these two characters as they converse than the first point of view of Rachel would give. (I wonder if we’ll get both point of views in the second book, Every Word, or even just Mycroft’s? Hmmm…)

The interaction and conflict between Rachel and Mycroft, as well as with their friends and family too, was much more interesting than the crime investigating plot of this novel. I felt the crime was second to the growth of the characters, that the crime just aided them in their discoveries and assistance of one another – and it would be great if that was always the case.
I would have been happy to just read a book about Rachel and Mycroft.

But I thought that the crime plot in Every Breath could have been stronger, the mystery more mysterious, the suspense more suspenseful. As you put 2 and 2 together when reading Every Breath the culprit just becomes more clearer and clearer and by the end there wasn’t much to be in disbelief about.

How Rachel and Mycroft were able to get the access to information and see the body of Homeless Dave in the morgue came about all too easy – our duo might have been conniving at every step of the way but they sure could have done a lot more in solving the crime than playing the innocent nephew of a cleaner at the zoo or innocent friend of the murdered. I wanted to see more jumping over fences, more of something to see Mycroft’s offending and Rachel’s tough-as-nails farming history kick into action.

More sleuth; less dare. Well, no, I like the amount of dare – it gave Rach and Mycroft something to race each other with. But you get my point I hope.

You know what? I actually do think Every Word will be told from Mycroft’s point of view. Every Breath introduced us to Rachel’s family and their history, their struggles financially to keep their farm at Five Mile, as well as their acceptance of Rachel’s relationship with Mycroft, the boy next door, so it’s only fair that we get to learn more about Mycroft at a deeper level, at a level as raw as raw can go. We got to know Mycroft through Rachel, but with the second book being set in London and a few eggs being trickled throughout Every Breath to build the excitement for the second book, it’s only fair we follow Mycroft and his feelings about Rachel.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,739 reviews709 followers
March 5, 2016
I've been waiting to read this series until I could get my hands on the ever elusive third book and now that I've got it, I'm so excited to binge them.

Rachel and Mycroft are a lot of fun. They have some of the best banter and the UST is off the charts. I loved their friends Mai and Gus and Rachel's brother Mike.

The plot was fast paced and interesting. I did have an idea who the bad guy was {and I turned out to be right}, but it didn't take away from the reveal or the epic ending.

I can't wait to start book 2.
589 reviews1,029 followers
August 23, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

My feet lose contact with the plank and I scream.

Every Breath fell in the pit between realistic and unrealistic. Yes, this novel has no supernatural elements but the whole way it was written; the way the plot was incorporated seemed like quite a mouthful to swallow. This being said, Every Breath was an exciting whodunit read with a more action-motion side to it. Mind you, I can tell an action murder mystery is something hard to accomplish- Ellie Marney's debut is a great example of an ambitious novel in this sub-genre category.

When neighbour/friends Rachel Watts and James Mycroft find 'Homeless Dave' lying nearby the zoo, dead, hell breaks into their lives. In desperate search for the murderer and no idea what to do, they can only seem to rely on each other as more and more people seemed to be two-faced than they had thought. Even though slightly predictable, Every Breath provides a fun yet mysterious novel by Ellie Marney. In Marney's story, she writes the two main protagonists mainly with their last names. I found this a difficult task for me to get my brain around the whole 'Watts' and 'Mycroft' dialogue but when I did, it added a whole new level of mystery and intensity. Teenage detectives done right!

Every Breath's main weakness was in the characters. While someone who hasn't read many books may come to adore Rachel and James, they felt slightly artificial and typical, in my belief. We have Rachel, the girl who tags along with her secretly-crushing-on-best-friend-bonus-neighbour who happens to be badass. James Mycroft is his name. He looms and swags through school all mysterious then maddening jocular the next. Nonetheless, there's a little depth slicing through my slight resentment towards Rachel and James. In the end, they weren't too bad. They got a little growth throughout the novel however there needed more of it.

It saddens me to a great amount that no opposite genres can be only friends and nothing more. Every Breath clearly was not a book with my not-so-secret-wish. Yet, I still really enjoyed the romance. While it was awfully gradual and I saw it coming a mile away, there was no major angst or cheesiness. It actually felt like a chemistry and was sweet at times.

A few more smaller problems: Showing versus telling. There was little too much telling at times and not enough showing.
Uneven descriptions. This is a debatable point as I felt that there were some irrelevant descriptions and not enough descriptions in action-cramped scenes.

All in all, Every Breath was not perfect but had it's highlights. The romance and plot is one to look forward to, despite a hint of unbelievability in some weak areas.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,864 reviews496 followers
October 9, 2020
First of all, thanks for the recommendation Katie and Edna.

I didn't immediately 'felt' for this book when I started. Katie and Edna described this as young adult mystery -- though both also emphasized on the relationship rather than the mystery. So in the beginning, I was focusing on the mystery part. I am a huge fan of mystery books, thanks to growing up with Agatha Christie. In that sense, when a book is described as mystery, I tend to focus on the case (the investigation, the conclusion) rather than the characters. That is why I prefer mystery with detective/cops/P.I. characters because I feel they are competent to deal with the investigation part.

So when I started this, I totally didn't know what to do with it. Both Mycroft and Watts are only high school students -- and it seems that they have their own personal issues. Mycroft with his brilliant mind but not very well-adept socially. Watts' bitterness about her family moving to the city (which I cannot relate at ALL, I like living in the city, I cannot imagine living in rural areas of Indonesia, NOT even a bit!). 'What is this?' I thought.

But then the more I got into these young people's lives -- especially after they found out about the homeless being murdered, the more I cared about them. Then somehow their relationship took the front seat, it was AMAZING, and I loved every minute of learning about them. The intense chemistry between the two, the fact they are truly good for one another, definitely won me over. And the actually made me all teary eyed.

So yes, this was so darn good! I even liked the mystery part too -- I guessed the villain few moments before Mycroft did :).

PS: I totally prefer the Australian cover though.
Profile Image for Katherine.
778 reviews355 followers
November 8, 2014
"I am not the law, but I represent justice so far as my feeble powers go."- Sherlock Holmes

4.5 out of 5 stars

Setting: Melbourne, Australia; 2013

Coverly Love?:Yes; the covers of this book and I have a love/hate relationship. I didn’t like the Australian covers at first, then I grew to love it. So by the time the American cover came out, I was so used to the Australian cover that I didn’t like it at first. But then I grew to love this one as well :D.

Plot:When a homeless man named Dave is murdered at the local zoo, no one has any idea who would do such a thing. The man isn’t much of a concern to the police since Dave is homeless, and frankly their stumped as to what killed the man. However, two teenagers are showing a keen interest in the man. Rachel Watts is a recent transplant to the big city from the country, and James Mycroft is a recent British transplant from Australia. Mycroft has a fascination with forensics and medical science and fancies himself as the next Sherlock Holmes. Rachel Watts is his trusty sidekick and best friend. Together, they’ll not only learn who tried to kill Dave, but learn how to live in a totally different environments than what they’re used to… and maybe learn a thing or two about deduction and crime solving in the process.

Every Breath is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes, and while I don’t quite think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be pleased with this retelling, I do think he would be pleasantly surprised and amused. Personally, I thought this was one of the best YA mystery series I’ve read in a while. Full of mystery, suspense and a touch of romance, Ellie Marney has created a dynamic crime fighting duo. The plot was extremely fast-paced with no dull moments in between, a solid friendship with the potential to turn into something more, and awesome side characters to fill in the gaps and make the story interesting. Simply put? I loved it!!

”I want to be Sherlock-bloody-Holmes.”
Meet James Mycroft. A British transplant to Australia after his parents die in a freak car accident, he’s tall, dark, handsome, mysterious, and rebellious. Apart from his obsession with forensic medicine and his high intelligence, he’s about as far from Sherlock Holmes personality wise as Kim Kardashian is to Princess Catherine. Let’s compare…
”Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner”- Sherlock Holmes
”’I do care!’ Mycroft’s voice explodes off the walls nearby. ‘Bloody hell, if I didn’t care why would I bother trying to figure out who killed him?’
Whereas Sherlock gives no regard to even trying to care or get personally attached to the victim (or anyone else, in general), Mycroft is a very emotional person. He doesn’t solve crimes just for kicks or morbid fascination like his literary counterpart. He does it because he truly cares about the outcome. You can see and feel his torment and pain when it comes to his parents, and how much he misses them. And you can feel his love and care for Watts as well, who is potentially the only person who may understand what goes on in that funny little brain of his. Personally, I loved Mycroft as a character. He’s also sarcastic, witty and general smart-ass with a wicked sense of humor. Basically, he’s the exact polar opposite of the world’s greatest detective.
”I admit to being a moron at lots of things. Being a moron in one or two areas serves to highlight my extraordinary brilliance in everything else ”

Rachel Watts is a recent transplant to the big city from the countryside, and she HATES is here. She wants the wide open spaces, freedom to roam around, and the general quiet life she and her family led back home. She alternately cares too much for people and doesn’t care enough…
”I don’t want to get attached to this city, or anything about it. I hate living in the city.”
Sometimes she can be completely irrational (more so than Mycroft)..
”Well, at least I get to see Mycroft semi-naked before I die”
But underneath her occasionally prickly personality, she cares deeply about the ones she loves. Although she doesn’t want to admit that she’s gotten attached to anyone in her short time here, she truly has. Mycroft, Mai, and Gus are the best friends she’s ever had, and without them, she wouldn’t nearly have as much adventure in her life then if she weren’t living in the country. She’s Mycroft’s voice of reason, and together they make a dynamic duo.

Mai and Gus are Mycroft and Rachel’s friends. More so Rachel’s, but Mycroft is friendly towards them as well. Mai and Gus are also dating, and I must say that they make the most adorable couple. They’re both exasperated by Mycroft’s wild and crazy ideas and supportive at the same time, which makes them all the more awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing them in the next installments.

Pros:I love the diversity in characters the author created, and how fleshed out all the characters seemed to be, even the side ones. Overall, the book was bloody amazing!!

Cons:I would have liked a bit more background and info to how Rachel and Mycroft met. The book just jumps right into their friendship. Maybe it gets more fleshed out in the other two books, but it would have been nice to read about (as I’m sure it would be interesting). Also, I thought the police work by both the regular police and by Mycroft and Watts could border on the sloppy side.

The last con didn’t bother me, but it may bother some readers. This book is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes, with a female Watson and a sexy Sherlock. Confession time: I haven’t read a Sherlock Holmes novel. I, in fact, haven’t read a Sherlock Holmes short story. Period.

I know, I know; I’m a disgrace to Sherlockians everywhere. I’ve watched the movies, the TV series, read Sherlock retellings and played the computer games. And yet I’ve never had the urge to read any of the originals by the late great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Simply put, I am not a Sherlockian. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to portray the world’s greatest consulting detective, and I’m open to interpretation. I do know from what’s been portrayed on screen that he’s supposed to be emotionally aloof and detached, analytical to the point of madness, could tell you what you had for breakfast that morning, allergic to romantic relationships, and is not supposed to be sexy in any way, shape or form (though honestly, Benedict Cumberbatch is considered to be the “sexy Sherlock” of his generation. Sorry Sherlockians.). This book is the exact opposite of that.

Basically, if you are an ardent, devoted Sherlockian, YOU WILL NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. I can’t emphasize this enough. If this image makes you cringe...
Step away from the book. This book will do to a Sherlockian what Reign does to British and French historians. In other words, you will rage. So for your sanity and the safety (as well as the book’s), don’t read it.

Love Triangle?:Nope!

”I wanted Rachel Watts and James Mycroft to have a relationship that was created slowly, with a solid base in friendship, like a real life couple.”- Ellie Marney
YES!! YES!! Can we get an amen? There’s absolutely no instalove here; just a good, solid friendship that slowly turns into love. And it worked out beautifully.

A Little Romance?:
”We have such a comfortable arrangement, where he studies at my place and I treat him like another brother. Then I go over to his place and we hang out, as friends, as mates. And it’s so easy, the way we are together, listening to music or talking rubbish.”
Mycroft and Watts start off firmly as friends. Not even a hint of romantic attraction is hinted at. Watts acknowledges he’s good-looking, and Mycroft KNOWS he’s good looking, but it never goes any further than that. They have full-blown arguments, make up, and consider themselves more brother and sister than potential romantic interests. The romantic tension builds on both sides gradually throughout the novel, until finally they act on their romantic attraction. And when they DO get together… it’s HOT. Fan-inducing hot. Sweating like a sinner in church hot. Which made it all the more exciting when they do get together.

Conclusion:An awesome first book to what will surely be an awesome series. The characters were amazingly snarky and amazing, the plot was fantastic, and the rapport between Mycroft and Watts was wonderful to read. If you are a Sherlockian, you’d be best advised to not read this book. But if you don’t mind the literary license, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this little gem. It’s one of the best YA romantic crime thrillers out there. Highly recommended!!!

Now I have to wait another whole year for the sequel to come out in America. WAAAHHHH!!!!! :'(

Read This!:If you're in Australia, Every Word and Every Move to see the adventure continue.

Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
December 11, 2014
4.5-5 stars

I have courage sometimes, in the strangest situations, when there are dead bodies with their throats cut in abandoned hollows of midnight parks. But I'm gutless most of the time, gutless enough to say things that slash and wound with the same violence as a knife across an old man's throat.

It's fitting that a book about teenage amateur detectives would require some sleuthing of my own for me to get my hands on a copy. Every Breath is a book I've wanted to read for a while, but until this October it's only being published in Australia. Even Fishpond and The Book Depository didn't have any copies in stock. After tweeting about it, the author, Ellie Marney, generously offered to send me the book, and some flailing commenced. In all it's glory all the way from Down Under:


Set in Melbourne, Australia, the book centers around two friends, Rachel Watts, our narrator, and James Mycroft, who find the murdered body of their homeless friend in the park. Realizing this will fall low on the priority scale for the police, the two decide to do some detective work of their own. Is this a senseless murder, or something with more sinister intent? On the one hand, Every Breath is a tense murder mystery, with plenty of thrills and puzzle pieces to keep us on the edge of our seats. I guessed most of the reveal ahead of time, but that didn't damper my enjoyment of the book. Ellie Marney excels at writing very tense sequences when the danger and fear are palpable. It helps that both Mycroft and Watts (they go by their last names for most of the book) are intelligent, clever, and, most importantly, loyal. They want to bring their friend justice and get themselves into a few pickles to achieve this. Their investigative skills are impressive, too. They keep digging until they find their answers, each mind playing off the other.

On the other hand, Every Breath is a moody character study with an unfamiliar (to me) urban city as its backdrop. Melbourne is also new to Rachel, who up until four months ago lived and worked on a farm. She misses the open skies and feels claustrophobic in a city teeming with strangers. Since she's our eyes and ears, it helps that Melbourne is almost as foreign to her as it is to me. The somtimes beautiful, sometimes depressing descriptions of the city set the atmosphere perfectly. Rachel is also immensely likeable, and her sturdy, open nature balances out Mycroft's eccentricities. That boy is a mystery all by himself; not in the usual brooding way these YA books typically go, but in a contradictory way. He's scarred from an accident that killed his parents when he was young, so this of course has affected his social eptitude. He seems to know everyone in the city, yet he has few meaningful relationships. He's impulsive and gets himself into too much trouble at school, but he's also ridiculously smart. I'm really not doing his personality justice; Mycroft is a complex guy, someone I would want to give a big ole hug to in real life and then tuck him safely in my pocket for keeps. There's small, added details about him as well - how he licks his top lip when he's nervous or scratches at the cut above his eyebrow when he's thinking - that endeared me to him further. I feel like there's still more layers to uncover about him, so thank goodness this is a trilogy. Mycroft is definitely one of my new favorite YA crushes.

The romance, too, is amazing. It's the subtle, slow burn kind, made even better by the friendship already established between Mycroft and Watts. They are neighbors and schoolmates and have been close friends for the last four months. The way they work together as team to solve the murder - even with fights and disagreements along the way - showcase their trust in one another and how compatible they are. The development to something more is realistic and gradual and peaks at just the right time. Other reviews have commented on the sexual tension between Mycroft and Watts, and it's true how tangible it is. There are these charged moments when you think one of them is finally going to make a move, only for things to simmer back down to a low boil. It's maddening and delicious at the same time. When the kissing finally does happen - just get ready for some serious swoon. :) The ending is sweet and perfect, and now I can't wait to see their new romance deepen in the next book. It's clear they will do anything for one another, the type of connection that is even more heightened in a murder mystery plot.

Make sure you mark this one on your calendar, folks. Ellie Marney is an exciting new voice in Young Adult fiction, and her debut is nothing short of impressive. I've already pre-ordered Every Word, and I'm told it should be on its way late this month or early the next. I can't wait to meet back up with my favorite duo!

This review can also be found at Love at First Page.
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,010 reviews4,152 followers
May 1, 2018
Rachel and Mycroft! So much chemistry and a great complicated friendship romance. Also enjoyed the murder mystery and Mycroft's autistic intelligence and lack of social graces.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,476 reviews1,893 followers
July 3, 2022
Here it is, the second-to-last series on my Series to Finish list for 2022. I've been knocking these out pretty quick this year.. and, as typical, saving the biggest challenge for last. Welp. That's future!Hollis' problem.

But anyway, was this as good as the first time? No, but that's only in comparing a five star to a four star. Also, having reread my first review, I was coming off a bit of a disappointment from another Sherlock YA retelling series so I think I was just extra excited about this being a win. But it's still so good.

Unlike other retellings, this one focuses on Watts (Rachel) and Mycroft (James). Conan Doyle's legacy exists in this world and there are a few cheeky throwaway references to it but on the whole this is more an homage than a recreation. This pairing meet as a result of Rachel moving to town and discovering a boy her age a few houses down. Their friendship, at the onset, seems more in line with Rachel taking care of James as he's more of less left on his own, only an oft-absent aunt in the way of guardianship, and he happens to find himself in the occasional scrape. One night, they stumble upon the body of a transient, who happened to be a friend of theirs, and it's off to the races -- they start to investigate.

The mystery is fine, good even, but what carries this is the dynamic. It's a little fraught, it's a little angsty -- they each have their backstories -- but it's so good. Marney writes them so well and they are absolutely electric together. And indeed, maybe, sparks even fly? I'll neither confirm nor deny (for now).

I'm excited to dive right into book two (which, if I recall correctly, gets much darker) and then after that it's all new territory for me.


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
July 22, 2015
4½ Stars.
Every Breath is a phenomenal thriller from a Brilliant Australian author in Ellie Marney. It follows the story of Watts and Mycroft, who are on a strictly last name basis. Both dynamic characters in their own right, but share an intense attraction.

Mycroft is a young man without supervision, living in a run down, ramshackle house with his absent aunt. His bedroom housing a makeshift laboratory, and follows his passion of forensics which entertain his inquisitive mind. He's charming yet dysfunctional, and doesn't adhere well to the classroom. Watts is the country girl stuck in the city, and is expected to provide a positive influence in Mycroft's life. Something her parents don't approve of. But Mycroft isn't just a troubled young man, he has a bright, brilliant mind and struggles with grief each day.

I absolutely adored Mycroft and Watts, as individuals and as an incredible duo. The two teens have befriended a homeless man and his dog Poodle, who reside in the parklands surrounding the Royal Melbourne Zoo. But when they discover Homeless Dave has been brutally killed, they soon realise the police aren't interested in finding the assailant and Mycroft takes it upon himself to seek justice for Dave. What ensues is a grim and heartbreaking adventure, which will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Ellie Marney is a natural storyteller, creating realistic, flawed characters that will adhere themselves to readers. I simply adored the slow burning romance, the intensity of the attraction between Mycroft and Watts only added to the suspense. It was simplistic, beautifully written and cemented Ellie Marney as an instant favourite on my shelves.
Profile Image for Rachael.
Author 8 books420 followers
November 17, 2015
I ate this book up. Ate. It. Up. Ellie Marnie deserves all the words. All. Of. Them. For the love of sanity just put words in her hands where they will be safe and walk away, people. Marnie + words = magic

So it's Rachel Watts and James Mycroft, best mates of late. Just mates. Brainiac, location mates (2 doors down). James is a bit of a genius delinquent. Rachel is a country mouse (but by no means meek and mild) forced to live in the city, a good girl who knows her own mind but is struggling to adjust to claustrophobic town life. Their daily comfortable routine is upended by the gruesome discovery of the murdered body of Homeless Dave, (an acquaintance of Mycroft's) and the peculiarities of the case fully arrest and obsess Mycroft's (and Watt's) attention.

The story carefully unravels a clever and twisting mystery while weaving narrative threads exploring family, economic hardship, grief/loss, PTSD, place/belonging, friendship, trust and science (!). The story is told from Rachel's POV, her voice is distinctive/engaging/authentic and both Mycroft and Watts are richly/believably drawn. Their growing awareness and attraction adds another layer of urgency to the excitement to the story. The restrained sexual tension crackles on the page. I eagerly looked forward to opportunities to sit and read.

Marnie gets an A+ for lions, an A+ for making me cry, and an A++ for stellar kissing.

I loved it and: I. Want. More.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,550 reviews912 followers
March 25, 2015
Just when I think the world probably doesn't need another Sherlock-inspired story ... I find a book as awesome as this one. Yes, the Sherlock elements (a quirky teen genius and his tough-yet-vulnerable female sidekick) are great, but so is the chemistry -- both intellectual and romantic -- between the two. As a mystery/thriller, this was really good too. And set in Australia! And I have an ARC of the next installment which makes me SO happy.

If you're a Sherlock fan and/or looking for a great YA mystery, definitely check this out.
Profile Image for ALPHAreader.
1,153 reviews
August 21, 2013
The city is no place for country girl, Rachel Watts. But since her family’s farm was foreclosed she had no choice but to be thrust into the hustle and bustle of the seemingly cold and anonymous Melbourne. Now her life revolves around school and chores while her mum works herself ragged as a cleaner, her dad is never home but always out driving the taxi and her brother frustratingly thrives in any environment.

There’s only one person who has saved this year of transition and stopped Rachel from going completely nutty - James Mycroft. He’s her neighbour and classmate, but over the last few months he’s also become her close friend. She edits the online forensic papers he publishes under the name ‘Diogenes’ and has been absorbed into his friendship group along with Gus and Mai. He might not be big on the warm and fuzzies, but Rachel knows that she’s become as important to Mycroft as he has to her – not least because he’s an orphan and inclined to hermit and drink his problems away.

Mycroft has opened the city up to Rachel, and made this place feel a little less anonymous. He’s even introduced her to some unsavoury characters, and unlikely friends – like Homeless Dave and his not-a-poodle, Poodle. Mycroft met them when he worked a soup kitchen, and Dave has since become one of his many eyes-and-ears around Melbourne.

That is, until Mycroft and Rachel find Dave dead – murdered in a most horrific way.

Mycroft knows that the seemingly random murder of one homeless man won’t matter much to the police, and the disinclined Detective Pickup … so her takes it upon himself to investigate his friend’s death, but he’ll need Rachel’s help to prove foul play.

‘Every Breath’ is the debut young adult novel from Australian author Ellie Marney, and the first in a new series.

This book begins with a prologue that doesn’t inspire confidence. Granted, it’s a prologue that also probably sets-up the trajectory of the entire Mycroft/Watts series … but, still, some of the lines were cheesy and I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into with the book;

Seven years from now, a man will be dead, a case will be opened, and a boy with no past may hold the key to my future.

What kept me reading beyond this somewhat clunky opener was a puff from Cath Crowley (calling the book “smart, sexy, and fast-paced”) and a back cover blurb that invokes a Sherlock Holmes for the Melbourne teen set.

Sherlock Holmes is hot (again) right now. Whether you prefer yours as Cumberbatch or Jonny Lee Miller, New York or London-faithful … it’s irrelevant, when the real appeal behind the “consulting detective” resurgence more lies in reading egotistically smart characters bringing a bit of dignity and drama to the stale crime genre. That’s what Marney is offering up with this new series and the character of James Mycroft (and of course, his partner; Watts).

Mycroft is a wickedly smart and sad young man; he was made orphan when his parents died under mysterious car-jacking circumstances in London when he was a boy. Afterwards he went to live in Melbourne with his only remaining relative, his aunt who is the very definition of a ‘hands-off’ parent. Since the verdict for his parents’ “accidental” death has never sat well wit him, Mycroft has dedicated his life to crime solving. He writes online papers on the topic of rigor mortis and prowls the Internet for ways to put his considerable intellect to good use under the pseudonym Diogenes (yes, the fictional gentleman's club of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books). Never mind that he’s only a teenager; Mycroft’s sad past and cracking mind lend him as a believable amateur sleuth with a chip on his shoulders and a grin at the ready.

The book begins with Mycroft’s smarts having just gotten him thumped by a fellow classmate, and he’s having his wounds tended by the ever-patient Rachel Watts, our story narrator. Though we’re given a brief flashback later in the book, into the early days of Rachel and Mycroft’s friendship, we never get a scene of their very first meeting or what sparked their friendship (though, presumably, proximity was a big factor since they’re neighbours). This is a bit of a lack, and it does take a few chapters for readers to get into their rhythm and accept this unconventional but strong friendship. Rachel has also been living in the city for a few months when the book begins, and I suppose I prefer the sacrificing of a “meeting” scene, as opposed to a time-skip to Dave’s death and Mycroft’s first real case to sink his teeth into. Still, when Mycroft and Watts’s friendship starts hinting at a possibility of more it would have been nice to know of their history up to this point; either to know how unusual it is that their feelings for one another are changing, or to know for sure that this tension has been building for some time.

And the tension is delicious. Mycroft is a charismatic but wounded soul; he has a lot of skeletons in his closet and a childhood that has shaped him into this smart but lonesome young man. Watts, by contrast, is determined to hold her close-knit family together, even in the face of their new and busy city lives – she comes from a place of love and loyalty, and by being around her, these feelings of home and love start having an affect on Mycroft. I also liked the fact that Watts is a tomboy uninterested in outward appearance; similarly, Mycroft is clearly swayed by Watt’s intellect and kindness, and their repertoire is never better than when they’re crunching on the case and observing clues.

I also loved the secondary sidekicks of Mai and Gus, whose additional smarts help Watts and Mycroft out of a few jams and whose forbidden romance is a nice counterpoint to the more grisly aspects of this crime-thriller;

Mai grins at Mycroft. ‘You know that’s slightly ridiculous, don’t you?’
He smiled. ‘Why?’
‘Because. . . because you’re teenagers.’ Mai’s expression says it should be obvious. ‘Mycroft, this isn’t like figuring out who spray-painted some guy’s car. This is murder.’
‘The principles are the same’ he insists.
‘But you’re both minors. And you have no access to police information, no experience, no forensics lab, no authority. . . ’
‘Mai, are you trying to bring me down or something?’
Gus, who usually only gets emotive about things like soccer, suddenly leans forward.
‘I think you should do it.’ He glances at me and Mycroft in turn. ‘This homeless guy, it’s not like his death is going to be a major priority, is it? The police won’t bend over backwards to bring his killer to justice or anything. He was a derelict with no family. So you two are the only ones who even care.’

Ellie Marney won the 2010 Scarlet Stiletto competition for women’s crime story writing, and in Mycroft and Watts she is clearly paying a small homage to the most infamous of crime stories - Sherlock Holmes. But this is not a teen-version or even an update; instead, Mycroft is clearly a fan of Doyle’s detective (hence the Diogenes screen name) and Marney plays around with a few jokes about Watts/Watson. But the Sherlock references also take a sharp turn when Watts points out Mycroft’s seeming disconnect from reality and harmful determination;

‘This is about you, it’s always been about you! This is not an investigation! And I am not your Watson! And Dave is not your parents!’

There’s also a feel of Rian Johnson’s 2005 film ‘Brick’ to ‘Every Breath’ – in the gritty urban setting and young sleuths who are more likely to channel Raymond Chandler than Nancy Drew. And I liked that too; this isn’t ‘crime-lite’ because it’s for a younger audience. It’s crime, full stop. The murder is gory, the bad-guys deadly and our characters are putting themselves in very real danger by poking their noses where they don’t belong.

I finished ‘Every Breath’ and wanted more. So I was thrilled to discover that second book ‘Every Word’ (set in London!) is due for June 2014 release, and after that there’s also ‘Every Move’ in March 2015. This is great news, because now that I know them, I want more James Mycroft and Rachel Watts. I want to know what happened to his parents, and how Rachel’s family will stay together in this big city. I want Mai to tell her mum about Gus, and I want to know how someone as smart and troublesome as Mycroft will fare in the big, wide world … I just want more from Ellie Marney, basically.

Profile Image for K..
3,796 reviews1,022 followers
January 25, 2023
Trigger warnings: murder, blood, death of a friend, death of a parent (in the past), animal death, mental health, car accident (in the past), implications of parental abuse, alcohol abuse.

I love these two fools so much. It DOES feel a little dated now that it's been out for ten years, but that's hardly surprising. It's still a lot of fun and I love it.

I still ship it like whoa. A+ swoon. (Also the mystery is super compelling, obvs)

I love this book so much. Everything I said last time around still stands. I ship it so hard. SO HARD, YOU GUYS. Read this series. It's glorious.

Holy crap. I loved literally every second of this. There aren't, as far as I can tell, a whole lot of YA crime novels out there, so this one stands out because of that alone. But add in the fact that it's set in Melbourne, and it's pretty much out there on its own. And it's kind-of-sort-of a Sherlock Holmes retelling, except with teenagers.

Things I loved:
- The characters. So fabulously teenaged, and so wonderfully flawed. Mycroft's all screwed up because of his parents dying, and the fact that he lives with his aunt who basically doesn't give a shit about him. Rachel's all screwed up because her parents' farm was foreclosed and now she has to live in the city. They're typical teenagers - drinking and smoking and sneaking out and wagging school. But they're also trying to solve the murder of a homeless man they'd befriended and trying to sort out their problems. And also maybe pass year 12.
- The diversity. Rachel's best friend Mai is Vietnamese. Mai's boyfriend, Gus, is Sudanese. Mai's dealing with the usual (or so my Vietnamese friends tell me) "How do I tell my parents I'm dating a boy who's not Vietnamese?" dilemma. Rachel and Mycroft visit cafes run by little old Greek men, they catch public transport with Ethiopian women and gay couples, and their attempts to find Dave's murderer lead them to interactions with Aboriginal and Middle Eastern characters. All of which was a big fat A+ for me, because that's exactly what Melbourne's like.
- The setting. It's pretty rare to find books that are set in Melbourne. But this one captures Melbourne's inner suburbs so perfectly. With every step, I could picture the landscapes the characters were walking through and the routes they were taking to get between them. I knew the train lines and tram routes they were taking and the stations they were getting off at. And I know the layout of the zoo well enough that I knew which animals the characters would have walked past as they headed from the train station end to the admin building.
- The writing. Seriously, it was great. Rachel's voice reminded me quite a lot of Ellie Linton from John Marsden's Tomorrow series, and it made sense for them to have similar voices, given that they're both farm girls from sheep country. It's a very Australian voice, and the writing was utterly fabulous from start to finish.
- The swoon. Oh my God, the swoon. Mycroft and Rachel spend like two thirds of the book insisting that they're just friends and that they have ZERO FEELINGS FOR EACH OTHER OMG. Except that it's really obvious that Rachel does, given that she's our narrator and she's all "I fought the urge to touch his fingers/hair/back". And it's really obvious that Mycroft feels the same. It just takes them a while to work it out. And when they do, it's squee-worthy.
- The story. There were a few moments that were slightly predictable - I worked out who the villain was basically the minute they turned up, and I knew how Detective Pickup would react to Mycroft wanting to see Dave's body. But those things aside, the story unfolded really smoothly. It was well paced and compelling, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- No cliffhangers. This is the first book in a trilogy, but it could easily be a stand-alone, because there aren't really any threads left hanging. Which isn't to say that we get a neatly wrapped up package where every single problem is solved and they march off into the sunset. But we're not left hanging as to who the villain is or whether they'll escape from a life threatening situation.
- Parents. It's a reasonably rare thing for YA books to feature parents who are present and involved in their kid's life and who are actually responsible parents. Yes, Rachel does a lot of the housework, but her parents are slogging their guts out in menial jobs to keep a roof over their heads and yet still have the time to be interested in what Rachel's doing and her plans for the future and whether or not Mycroft is getting enough to eat, because seriously, that boy needs a hug and a responsible adult in his life...

Things that annoyed me:
- The blurb gives away the big climax. Um, seriously, blurb writer?? Well, it doesn't give away specific details. But it gives away the location, and that's enough to let you join a few dots early on about who the villain might be.
- That's literally it.

In short, this was the best book I've read in months.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,235 reviews445 followers
January 20, 2016
I've loved anything Sherlock Holmes for quite some time now. The BBC Sherlock, Elementary, and the RDJ films are favourites of mine, once I heard that there are a load of Sherlock inspired YA out there, I needed to get my hands on as many as I could. I've ordered Lock & Mori, and am hoping to get A Study in Charlotte when it's released. The Every series by Ellie Marney was available to request through my library, which I did, and here we go.

Rather than being about a relative of Holmes or Watson, or anything like that, the main characters in this book just have similar names. James Mycroft, and Rachel Watts - it's Sherlock's cleverer brother, and his friend Watts. Mycroft, is an extremely intelligent young man, with a turbulent background, who gets involved in his first sleuthing mission when he and Watts discover the body of their homeless friend. Also, the book is set in Melbourne, Australia, and I don't think I've read a book set in Australia, so that was a nice change of scenery. As they become more involved in the case, the dangers around every corner get closer and closer, until, like the synopsis says, they find themselves in an actual lion den.

I loved the humour in this book. There were some slang that I didn't really understand, but a lot of it seems similar to English slang, and that was definitely fun. Neither of the characters has really privileged, happy backgrounds. The whole reason why they are in Melbourne, living near each other, is because of hardship and suffering, and they didn't hide that. Rachel and James were actual, real people.

The plot was very well written, and thought out. When we first met the actual baddie, I thought there was something weird about them, but not sure what. I was guessing until the last minute what had happen, and would happen, and was shocked so many times. It was definitely a proper Sherlock retelling, with more of a unique twist to it, a la Elementary, rather than the BBC Sherlock.

The romance between Mycroft and Watts was hardly there, until the end. Even so, I shipped them so hard. It was a romance I could get behind, that felt right, and natural.

Honestly, I could see the majority of the book actually happening, it was that real! I'm glad that I have the ebooks of book 2 and 3 waiting on my iPad, as I'm going to start them as soon as I have time free between exams. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get these books, and definitely understand why they are so loved by so many people. I'd absolutely recommend this book, and probably the whole series, to anyone, but especially fans of Sherlock Holmes.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews100 followers
July 9, 2019
I loved, loved, loved this book! I saw it on a list of favorite books from my friend, @melbsonmymind and thought, "Hmm. Sounds interesting and she has great taste in books." So I requested it on my library’s website. I might point out here that librarians always know the best books. Also, most states, if not all, have an interlibrary loan system that you can access online with just your library card. (you know you're a nerd when you've memorized your library card number..."hello, I'm a nerd.")

So, back to the book. We enter when our heroine has already established a friendship with the strange boy two doors down. She is new to the city and misses country life. She has made a few friends through him, but she likes to keep a low profile.

Our hero does not like to keep a low profile. He is extremely intelligent and fashions himself after Sherlock Holmes.

All of that sounds kind of cute and simple, until you get to know the characters. The author has put so much depth into their development. It is all told in the heroine's pov but so much is there about the hero that it almost feels like it's in his also.

A wonderful story that truly captures the lives of two unique characters as they learn about themselves and each other while working on solving a murder or two.
Profile Image for Maggie.
432 reviews429 followers
October 16, 2014
Do you have a curly haired, otter shaped hole in your heart? Look no further! This book is such a fun addition to the Sherlock genre. It's to Sherlock what Bridget Jones is to Pride and Prejudice.

A very enthusiastic 4 stars.
Profile Image for Cathryn.
335 reviews66 followers
December 29, 2014
This was exactly the book I wanted to read right now. I loved it. I love Mycroft and Watts together and I can't wait to read the next one. No long review on this one. It would just be me gushing.
Profile Image for Frannie Pan.
341 reviews241 followers
November 13, 2016

Why. Why didn't I read this sooner? Why did I have to wait for this beautiful cover change (which was truly welcome, I mean, have you seen it?!) to finally pick it up? And it happened because of NetGalley. THANK YOU, NETGALLEY. What would my life have been without you?! Don't wanna know, do not tell me.

Though it does surprise me that this book wasn't under my radar, considering I'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes. Because you are, too, it goes without saying that you must read this book like now. Like, I mean it, stop reading this review and go buy this book and read it and make love to it and have its babies. Or Mycroft's babies, that'd be even better.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. We were saying.
Every breath tells the story of Watts and Mycroft, two friends slash neighbours who one night decide to go visit their friend Homeless Dave at the zoo only to find him brutally murdered. The police think it's part of a murder spree of serial killings and aren't too pressured to investigate, considering the victim's origins, while Mycroft and Watts want to bring the murdered to justice and honor their friend. They're the only ones who are motivated enough to follow all the leads and solve this mystery once and for all.

Mycrof and Watts. James and Rachel. They're my favorite OTP ever, I love them so so much together. Don't get me wrong, this book fortunately doesn't focus solely on romance, but I loved them to pieces nonetheless. Mycroft, with his head in the clouds most of the time but smart and caring, trying to come to terms with his parents' deaths; Rachel and her countrygirl attitude, her longing towards her old farm and his struggles with the city life.
Their relationship is refreshing, a slow burn that I'm not ashamed to confess made me blush more times than I could count: it was passionate and intimate, but never went too far. It was simple as breathing, them being together came naturally without the usual YA overdone drama. She wants to take his hand? She does it. He wants to kiss her? He does it. Cheers.
I also particularly loved Rachel's relationship with her brother, it reminded me of me and my brother: how sometimes you have heart-to-heart conversations or fight and scream at each ither only because you care and you're trying to help. Rachel's family had an important role in this book, it is a strong component in her daily life and their presence shows it. Because you know, sometimes you get parents in YAs, they're not all orphans or running away trying to save the world and such.

The mystery was surprisingly intricate. I had NOT seen it coming, there were lots of twists that made it impossible to guess who it was in the end. But at the same time you gather all these clues along the way, thus it felt like I was investigating right by our detectives' sides, reasoning with them and figuring what the next step was going to be.
And they weren't perfect, mind you. Mycroft and Watts make mistakes, face the loss of their friend and shudder when they look at the blood sorrounding the body, even when looking at the photographs.
It was real, that's what it was.

Every breath, it is my pleasure to welcome you in the top 10 of this year. Yes, the top 10.
I'm dying to read Every word, now. Like, why isn't it in my hands now? I don't care that the US edition hasn't been released yet. I just want it. Give it to me. Now.
Damn it, those gorgeous covers...

Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,060 reviews16 followers
October 23, 2014
Really 4.5 stars.

To see full review with gifs click here.

This book was the saving grace and what otherwise was known as a horrible weekend filled with outlandish drama and a CLE class so dreadfully boring I thought the course should’ve been paying me to take it.

The good news is, I came in with high expectations for this one. Because of some rather flattering reviews and it succeeded.


I think the best way to describe Every Breath‘s wonderfulness is to describe why most YA mysteries detective novels don’t work and then go from there.

In most YA detective books we have a main character who’s “sassy” and tries to break the detective rules. They’re also usually into journalism and there’s usually a bonehead Ned Nickerson-ish love interest who they have to save.

That’s not the case here.

Not that Watts isn’t sassy. But she doesn’t actively try to be snarky and the anti-Nancy Drew. Heck, she’s not even the one running the mystery-Mycroft is-but you know what she totally kicks butt.

And I like that she’s atypical. I like that she’s uncertain things and that even though she’s trying to solve some big case, that’s not the sole focus of the novel.

Side plots, such as family issues and romance play a role here. Honestly, when I saw that this was going to be essentially a Sherlock/Watson ship I was kind of unsure.

Because even though I love the idea, I have am a little uncertain about one of my favorite friendships evolving into a romance, but Marney did it effortlessly here.

And I really liked her Sherlock…well, James Mycroft there (kind of like how she did a nod to both Sherlock’s brother and nemesis with that name). While there were similarities of the beloved character- and various versions of him at that-Marney added her own nuances to the character that made the relationship with Watts palpable.

The mystery plot itself had its moments. While the culprit (for me) was easy enough to figure out, the actual crime solving was interesting. And the climax…wow. Just wow. I do think the zoo setting could’ve been used a little more to Marney’s advantage, but what we did see…it really, really, worked.

There were a few minor issues with this book that I did notice. Besides, the easy to identify culprit, there were also some trigger inducing moments for animal lovers. It wasn’t anything that major, but it was enough where I was tempted at a moment or two to move it down to four stars.

That being said, I think mystery lovers and Sherlock lovers will really like this one. It also made me realize I have not paid enough attention to Aussie YA lit. This is something I will be remedying in the near future.

Overall Rating: A-. Oh, it was close to an A. So close I rounded it up to a full five on GoodReads but there were a few blips here and there. Overall though, an excellent book and I will so be buying and reading that sequel when it comes out.
Profile Image for Lexie.
224 reviews198 followers
July 1, 2016
In the name of Conan Doyle, Cumberbatch and Crime, I declare this book worthy of its influence.

Profile Image for Eri.
595 reviews172 followers
March 25, 2017
I had been eyeing this book from a distance for quite some time until I finally had the courage to splurge and purchase it. It promised a murder mystery and sleuthing fuss with the added splash of teen romance that I never seemed to find in a good mystery book. Which put frankly, is a book made for the likes of me. The blurb on the cover said it all: what if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?

James Mycroft and Rachel Watts, our Holmes-Watson pair, are fabulous characters. They are teenagers, with just the right amount of snark and banter in them (i.e. a tad too much to be healthy), and were a delight to read about. For some reason, I have a fondness for boys who call girls by their last names, and vice-versa, which this book gave to me in both manners, a fact that I fondly took note of.

But before I get sidetracked with these two charmers, let's get into what this book is. It's part murder mystery and part romance, a combination that worked beautifully in this case, with just the right amount of swoony chemistry but didn't skimp on the gory details. Because if you've seen enough crime shows the way I have, the details that pack a punch give you that grimy taste of a crime scene.

Rachel, or Watts, is the responsible girl. She has a solid head on her shoulders, and she's caring and loyal as well. She's a country girl forced to live in the city, where she met Mycroft, her next door neighbor and a crime solver in the making. She feels real and has palpable worries, ones that I could relate to, from the family dynamic to the financial straits she was in. It is all too easy for fictional characters to lose their heads when involved in something like crime and an attractive boy, but Watts thankfully did not lose herself and for that I was thankful.

Mycroft is great, a genuinely interesting guy to read about. He's curious, and methodical, having that inquisitive and sharp nature that we all associate with the illustrious Holmes, but with the added warmth of a teenage boy who has that oblivious side to him that I found quite endearing. But alas, not everything is crystal clear with him, and his backstory is one that piqued my heart. Needless to say, it involves his family, a juvenile record, and a drive to figure stuff out. Hopefully, the sequels will reveal more about him, but for now, I quite like who he is as is.

Does being an eccentric genius excuse any kind of behavior, no matter how antisocial or self-destructive?

What surprised me in a good way was that when the book starts, you're in the midst of Watts and Mycroft's friendship. They have a camaraderie and bond that's close enough to warrant friendship, maybe something more. It sets the stage for the dynamic they have together. Moving on to their relationship, or lack thereof, I was very pleased with. You can feel the unspoken tension and chemistry between Watts and Mycroft in brief flickers since the very beginning. It's one of those slow burn ones, where you keep rooting the characters on until that inevitable moment occurs. And when it does, it was well worth the wait of two characters tiptoeing around the attraction they share.

Everything inside me is suddenly reduced to feeling. That's all there is, just pure sensation.

As for the murder mystery, I give props to Marney for crafting a believable and well-crafted case. It was intriguing, and had everything I could hope for, including dysfunctional tragedies and a touch of madness. The sleuthing, of course, is the best part of any mystery, and while I enjoy my fair share of confounding twists and turns, it was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the characters and their chemistry as much as the actual mystery, without having my head hurt trying to figure out the case.

With such a promising start, I am very much looking forward to the rest of this series and cannot wait to catch up with Watts and Mycroft soon.

You can read this and other review on my blog. :)
Profile Image for Wanderlust_Wanz.
318 reviews47 followers
March 24, 2017
Jeez, after reading this book, I might very well be on a crime and mystery thriller craze, well at least I won't be that apprehensive if I were to start on another crime book. For some reason, I've always been hesitant to read crime and mystery books, for fear that it would be too much for my little brain to handle - the connections and leads too hard to follow and comprehend, the mystery too befuddling or worse, predictable and lame.

But this book definitely changed my perception for the better!! I really enjoyed this a great deal, much more than expected. All the detailed analysis, looking for loopholes, seeking out of clues. Plus gory descriptions, endless speculations that had my brain gears moving and even experiencing moments of satisfaction when I happen to guess a lead correctly. Most importantly, all these explanations make sense to me, without it being too overwhelming but still having its alarming effects and continues to intrigue.

I absolutely LOVE Mycroft and Watts. Mycroft is just this incredible genius, with his unbelievable top-notched analytical skills and accurate theories. I love his hyper-activeness and over-the-top excitement and passion for solving the murder case. Also, I like that Watts is the only one that truly gets Mycroft, his obsession and need for answers, the harsh reality and tragic past behind his facade. Snippets of their sweet blossoming romance, alongside with the thrilling murder case, is just the perfect combination to keep you craving for more. LOVE IT and will definitely continue with this series!
Profile Image for Cécile.
752 reviews87 followers
June 9, 2015
J’ai adoré cette histoire qui met en avant deux adolescents, Rachel Watts et James Mycroft, qui décident d’enquêter sur le crime de leur ami SDF.

Pour faire court : j’ai tout aimé dans ce livre.
-L’intrigue policière pour commencer: intelligente, bien construite, prenante.
-Nos héros ensuite, Watts et Mycroft : elle est vraie, smart, un peu sarcastique, et surtout entière. Lui est un génie, excentrique, intriguant, touchant aussi.
-J’ai aimé les personnages secondaires aussi: Gus, Mai, Mike, qui sont bien développés et apportent un vrai plus à l’univers, au contexte et à l’histoire.
-Et enfin, j’ai adoré les relations entre tous les personnages et particulièrement l’évolution de l’amitié entre Watts et Mycroft, lente, juste et qui m’a même donné des papillons.

En conclusion : Every breath est un très bon moment que je conseille à tous: j’ai été prise dès la première page, j’ai aimé Watts, j’ai fondu pour Mycroft, j’ai souri, couiné, élaboré des théories et j’ai dévoré ce livre !
Profile Image for Holly .
1,361 reviews291 followers
December 26, 2017
oh my goooood, I loved this so effing much. THIS SHIP IS EVERYTHING. I loved it all; Mai, Gus, the Sherlock Holmes-esque story, the way that Rachel and James called each other by their last names, the eccentric boy genius who isn't always self-aware but who has this uncanny ability to make people feel seen and heard, the girl who takes on too much responsibility when she shouldn't have to but who is doggedly brave and curious and who cares about injustice. These characters were THE BEST. I called whodunit early on, but it was fun to read about these amateur but intelligent sleuths tracing the steps of a killer. I'M SO HERE FOR MORE BOOKS ABOUT MYCROFT AND WATTS LIVING UP TO THE INFAMOUS DETECTIVE AND HIS SIDEKICK. (Except Rachel is deeeefinitely not treated as a sidekick but an equal, and I so, so appreciated that). "Don't let him change you. Stay you. Stay open." asdfjkl; my heart.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 722 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.