Every Word is the second book in Ellie Marney's young adult, Sherlock Holmes inspired mystery series, and it is so good! Rachel Watts and James Mycroft, the would be teenage detectives, were first introduced in Every Breath. Both were transplants to Melbourne of a sort. Rachel and her family had recently moved from the countryside when it became impossible to sustain the family farm. Mycroft (people rarely call him by his first name) moved to Melbourne to live with his aunt after his parents were killed in a car accident. In the first book, Rachel and Mycroft were friends who liked to play at detective work, Mycroft more so than Rachel. When a homeless man they frequently chatted with ended up dead, their detective work became more than game.
As Every Word begins Rachel and Mycroft are still recovering from the aftermath of the events in the first book. Rachel and Mycroft have grown closer, though her parents are not entirely happy with Mycroft or their daughter after their previous adventure left both teenagers with more than a few bruises. But overall, things are good. Then suddenly Mycroft rushes off to London without saying a word to Rachel. His boss - Mycroft works at the pathologist office as a junior assistant of sorts - has been asked to go to London and assist in a case involving a suspicious car accident and a very valuable missing book. Rachel takes off after him, half worried about Mycroft and the bad memories waiting for him in London, and half furious at him for thinking that he could leave without saying anything. Once again Mycroft and Rachel find themselves in the role of detective.
This is an excellent series, with great plotting and great characters. I like Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and novels - like not love. They're fun, but Sherlock Holmes always comes across as a character. Ellie Marney succeeds in channeling Holmes (and Watts), while making her characters feel real. James Mycroft isn't just an astute observer who can deduce where you're from and what you've been up by glancing at your shoes and tie. He is a gifted boy crashing into adulthood, while mourning the tragic death of his parents, who also happens to be very observant and have a strong practical interest in science. Rachel Watts is a full character in her own right as well; she isn't there just to record Mycroft's adventures. She operates independent of and in concert with Mycroft. At one point Mycroft remarks what a relief it is to have such clever friend. I concur, what a relief to have a clever young woman working along side Mycroft and calling him on his BS when necessary.
The next book in the series is Every Move and I can hardly wait. This series was originally published by an Australian press so there is always a delay before the books make an appearance in the the U.S. I hope the wait isn't too long.