Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty is a mystery set in present day London based on Sherlock Holmes.

When the fire alarm in her drama class goes off, Mori is told to go get Sherlock Holmes out of his basement laboratory because he ignores them. After a very short and infuriating conversation, Mori leaves him to his demise. Later, Mori is spending alone time on the band shell roof in Regent’s Park. It’s her secret spot to think (it’s hard when your dad’s crazy and you have a bunch of little brothers). Lock finds her there to ask her name. Mori’s name is actually James Moriarty. She was supposed to be a junior, but she wasn’t a boy and apparently, her dad still wouldn’t change his mind about names. So, her nickname is Mori. There, their relationship starts.

Lock challenges Mori to a game. In the park, there has been a stabbing and Lock loves studying the scenes because he thinks he’s more competent than the police. Mori follows him to a spot in the scene that obscures them and they see that a man was stabbed and fell with his hands still in his pockets. They draw all sorts of conclusions (mainly that the police aren’t doing their jobs and they’re not sure if that’s incompetence or looking the other way) and the game is afoot.

The only rules to the game, Lock says, is that they tell each other everything they know. The skill is in deductions. But the more Mori finds out about the case, the less she wants to share with Lock. As their romantic relationship develops, Mori’s truth telling abilities deteriorate until the clues start coming in faster and faster while Mori denies that she’s in over her head.

I really enjoyed reading this book, although the sentence structure and British-ness (it wasn’t too British, and that might be because the author is from Nevada) made it a slow read at first. The only thing that bothered me about the story was that the relationships weren’t very developed, and though I suspended reality to believe in them and that was okay… it still wasn’t okay I guess. Mori claims to want to protect her little brothers over everything, however, her little brothers don’t even say a word and there are almost no scenes with them at all. She claims to hate her father later on in the book, but at first, she seems to not think anything of him. If your mom dies of cancer and your dad is all you have, you probably like him a lot. Then there is Mori’s best friend. Mori and Sadie Mae have been estranged for the last year, as Mori kind of dropped off the planet to spend her last days with her mother and Mori’s classic downfall of never thinking she needs anyone else. Then all of a sudden they run into each other on the street and become besties again, although their scenes are limited too and have a sexual underpinning, which is confusing because she likes Lock. So I no longer care about: Sadie Mae, the brothers, the dad.

I care about Lock because he is mysterious and the original Sherlock character. But he has almost no dialogue either other than to pout like a child whenever Mori leaves. He also emotes… a lot! He is written as a character that doesn’t have feelings, but he is obsessed with Mori, which I guess goes along the original story lines, however the obsession should be in figuring her out and beating her at the game. It should not be about having a giant crush on her and following her around like a puppy while spouting his feelings. I guess it works for a romance, but I wanted Lock to be a little more authentic and also a dynamic character, which he wasn’t. He was barely a character at all. I hope they round out all of these characters in the sequels.

So the whole time, with all of these kinds of relationships and flat characters, I just don’t see why Mori gave a crap about any of them. I think my favorite character was Mycroft even though he was barely there, at least he was authentic. Maybe I should cut the author some slack because it was her debut book, but oh what it debut-y. Never the less, I still enjoyed it and would read the second. However, I recommend A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro way more.

Read alikes: Every Breath by Ellie Marney, Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock,