Friday, December 11, 2015

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty (Lock & Mori book 1)

London, Present Day

March 4th was the day that James “Mori” Moriarty first met Sherlock “Lock” Holmes during a fire drill. Her drama teacher sent her to fetch him from his private laboratory in the basement beneath the theater. The two come to a standoff when he immediately pegs her but she has unnerved Sherlock. The two part and go about their day. Mori knows that it will be a bad night when she comes home. Her mother died six months earlier and her father is unable to deal with the situation. Mori not only acts as mother for her younger brothers when the drinking and reminiscing occur but as a distraction for her father’s ire. Her father does tell her to stay out of Regent Park because a murder has occurred there and is under investigation. Mori’s well meaning comment about the police needing her father on the scene to complete the job blows up. Physically abusive, he finally stomps off to his room and continues to drown his sorrows over his wife’s death. Mori ends up doing the one thing her told her not to do, she heads off to the park.

Mori and Lock run into each other that night in Regent Park. She heads to the deserted bandstand but once again notices a man, smoking a clove cigarette, leaning against a monument in the shadows. Paying him no attention, she dries her tears and attempts to pull herself together. Mori is disbelieving at first when the man speaks to her but soon realizes that it is Sherlock when he remarks that she never told him her name. He has seen her multiple times in the park at night but he never wondered about her until today. Mori tells him her name, since it is unlikely that her would ever guess that her real name is James. Sherlock asks her to follow him and she is baffled when her takes her to the active crime scene in the park.

Reluctant at first, Mori trails after him, even when he ducks under the police tape to hide in the woods. The two get an upclose view of the scene and notice the position of the body. They also hear what the police officers are saying about the scene and speculate that it was a robbery gone wrong. Sherlock proposes that the two of them could do a much better job and challenges Mori to the task. He knows that her father is a police officer. Even though Sherlock doesn’t know Mori all that well, he figures the two of them can solve the case first. He suggests they it a game and the first one to solve the case, wins. Mori wants to know the rules but Sherlock states that there will only be one; no transparency. She tells him that she isn’t sure and explains that her father can never find out. Mori states that they will have to meet in the middle of the lake where no one can overhear their conversations. Sherlock has a smile on his lips as he walks away after hearing Mori comment that the blood is fake.

Mori has decided against playing Sherlock’s game the next morning. During play practice, once again Mori is playing her understudy part, Sherlock shows up. Unsure why he is there, she tries to back out of his game until he states that they need to talk to the girl whose part she has overtaken. Turns out, her father was the man killed the park the night before. Mori sends Sherlock away and tries to find out some information about Lily Patel, the girl for who she is the understudy. She eventually finds out that there will be a memorial on Saturday from Lily’s boyfriend when she says that she wants to offer her condolences. Sherlock and Mori attend the service. Alone out in the lobby, she sees the display of photographs they family put together. She is shocked to see her mother in a photo with Mr. Patel and several other people. She pockets the picture before a member of the family comes up to her. The white haired woman begins talking of the life Mr. Patel lived even after his troubled youth. She begins searching for the photo that Mori has taken, saying that a woman was at the center of it all. She looked innocent on the outside but was a real wolf once you knew her. Before she can cover her face, the woman remarks that Mori resembles her. Mori heads off to find Sherlock who believes the two of them have wasted their time. She keeps her new found information quiet from Sherlock, breaking their pact.

What secrets does Mori uncover about her mother and the photograph she lifted from the memorial service? Why was Mr. Patel murdered? Can her father’s rage at her stop or does it continue to escalate? Does Mori lay bare her dysfunctional home life to Sherlock? Who solves the case first? What happens when Sherlock discovers Mori’s deception after the two of them grow close?

Book two in the trilogy is expected to be published in 2016.

Visit Heather W. Petty’s website.

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