Disclaimer: I rec’d a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. I rec’d no other compensation and I was only required to post an honest review of this work of fiction.

The Future Door by Jason Lethcoe

Once upon a time, approximately 108 years ago, a teen-aged Bostonian with highly developed powers of observation and logical analysis skills visited his uncle at 221 A Baker Street (just next door to the famous apartment of Sherlock Holmes). Griffin Sharpe, son of a Methodist minister, and his uncle, Rupert Snodgrass, an eccentric inventor and would-be supersleuth, are soon embroiled in a battle with the infamous wits of the Moriarty family.

Sounds like a fun story, huh? The author throws in some exciting time-travel sequences and dual-dimension scenes and you have a fabulous family read-aloud titled The Front Door. [NOTE: this is the second in the No Place Like Holmes series, but you do NOT have to have read the first as this book stands on its own. We haven’t read the first one and had no trouble following the story-line and character development.]

I love mysteries. I love mysteries written in the Holmesian style and era. I love reading mysteries to my children to help them develop logical thinking skills and powers of observation. It is often extremely hard to find well-written, non-gory (or non-creepy), mysteries that I can read to them. The Future Door, set in 1903 London, was a perfect read-aloud for our family: tightly written plot, good logical flow of the story, a bit of sci-fi that was well-handled and wonderfully drawn characters.

The writing is excellent and this book proved an exceptional read-aloud to my 9, 11, and 12 year olds. A couple of bonuses: at the end of the book there is a “quiz” to test the observation powers of the reader (or listeners); additionally, Lethcoe has included two “minute mysteries” that are a fun puzzle for the reader.

There is a Christian element threaded throughout the book (Griffin’s father is a Methodist minister) but it’s a very subtle thread. Griffin is a very good teen; he’s adverse to hurting or killing people and always thinks the best of all unless proven otherwise. The morals of the good guys are, well, good; while the morals/actions of the bad guys are bad (but not gory or creepy or over the top masochistic).

I highly recommend this for teens or as a family read-aloud for 9 and above; the boys will especially love this one (altho my girly-girl daughter did, too!).

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