cover image Lock & Mori

Lock & Mori

Heather W. Petty. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2303-8

Petty debuts with a suspenseful, sure-footed mystery, set in present-day London and starring a teenage Holmes and Moriarty. The narrator, James "Mori" Moriarty, meets the absent-minded, egotistical, and truth-obsessed "Lock" at school. They are both curious, analytical observers, so when they learn of a bizarre murder, in which a man is found stabbed with his hands in his pockets, they decide to investigate. The teens are both unmoored: Lock's mother is ill, and Mori's father has been abusing Mori and her brothers ever since their mother died six months ago. Lock and Mori initially promise to keep no secrets from each other, but when Mori suspects her mother may have been involved with this and other murders, she withholds information, putting both teens in harm's way. The chemistry between the protagonists is at the heart of the story, and their sparring relationship predictably, but enjoyably, develops into romance. While some readers may guess the killer's identity early on, this is still a quick-moving mystery distinguished by clear writing, memorable imagery, and some keen insights into human fragility. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary. (Sept.)