Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty
Published in 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: YA crime/mystery/romance.

My rating:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again


Lock & Mori was a very pleasant surprise. I’d seen the book mentioned on several blogs back when it first came out last year, and I put it into Goodreads because I’m a sucker for Sherlock Holmes retellings. Then I saw it was a Kindle deal recently and snapped it up – and binge-read it in about two days. I’m counting this towards my Retelling Challenge, which I’m otherwise failing at (oh well).

I kept comparing it (perhaps unfairly) with Ellie Marney’s Every series (reviews here, here, and here) since they both feature a boy and a girl who investigate murders together. And I really enjoyed Marney’s series, so I was initially disappointed with Lock & Mori for not gripping me in exactly the same way – but then, as the story progressed, I realized the tone of the story was just completely different, much darker and complex.

I’d expected a sort of a contemporary YA romance with some crime, see, and though there is romance in Lock & Mori, it isn’t such a central theme as in the Every series. Yes, Lock and Mori are teenagers who kind of fall for each other, but their relationship is more complex, half-based on wanting to distract each other from their lives, and half on their mutual admiration of the other’s reasoning process. It might have been a bit fast for my taste but there’s no talking about love or anything, it’s just a case of teenage attraction. I always find smart heroes pretty hot, there’s just something about brainy guys that pulls me in, and Lock was a good example of such a boy.

But it was Mori (James Moriarty, but she hates her full name) who really stole the show – she’s a great narrator and such a troubled, amazing young lady. Her life situation could hardly be more f***ed up but she somehow copes – until she doesn’t.

I’m usually okay with figuring out the culprit in crime stories, so I did figure this one out, too, but that didn’t lessen the horror or the enjoyment of reading all about Lock and Mori’s investigation. I also liked the fact that unlike in Marney’s series, Sherlock isn’t an absolute know-it-all, though he does have wicked observation skills. He just seemed more real because of it.

All in all, this was a really enjoyable read, though I don’t often read mystery or crime novels. It had just the right amount of scary and gory to keep me on my toes but not enough to turn me off. I’m definitely going to continue with the series when the sequel, Mind Games, is published in December.


Have you read Lock & Mori? What did you think?

Do you have any other Sherlock Holmes retellings to recommend? Or maybe mysteries of a similar kind (no horror or scary stuff, though, I’m a chicken)?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Hmm, you make this sound tempting!

    • It is, I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel.

  • Ooh I think I might read this! I love that you said it’s not too scary/gory because I just can’t read books like that haha – I’m a complete chicken! XD Great review!

    • Hello, fellow chicken! :) I dislike horror and gore intensely (both in books and in movies/TV shows), so if I say it’s “clean”, it probably is! :D

  • I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, but I had no prior experience with the author so I was kind of hoping the library would pick it up. After that review, I think I’m willing to grab it myself next time I get a gift card. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    • Oh, I hope you’ll like it. I think it can be a hit or miss, depending on how you like your Sherlock retellings, but for some reason, it worked really well for me.