I adore detective adventure stories. Growing up, I was blessed to “inherit” an almost complete set of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five books and a couple of books from their companion series The Secret Seven. I later moved on to The Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators, and it was only in my mid-teens that my passion for the genre gave way to a lifelong love affair with superhero comics. Nonetheless, I never lost the hope that one day, there would be an equally engaging, entertaining, educational and enticing detective series set in Singapore!
Last year, that dream became reality for me when the first Sherlock Sam book was announced. Not only was it set in Singapore, but it featured a food-loving, science geek with an awesome robot who in their first adventure, visit the famous Chin Mee Chin Confectionery in East Coast Road! This was followed by Sherlock and his sidekick Watson investigating eerie noises coming from within Fort Canning Park! It was thrilling to find out which local landmark would next appear in the series.
Read on to find out what Singapore’s Greatest Kid Detective gets up to in his third and latest adventure! Also, learn how you can meet the authors of this exciting children’s series later TODAY! Details below.
The series revolves the adventures of a 10-year-old Samuel Tan Cher Lock, who insists on being referred to as Sherlock Sam, and has the analytical and deductive mind to live up to his namesake’s reputation. He is accompanied by a robot of his own creation, named MEGA-DESTRO-TECHNO-BOT. How that robot later became known as Watson is revealed in the first chapter of the first book, Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong.
Though Sherlock Sam and Watson are the main protagonists of the story, they are supported by a diverse cast of characters – there’s Wendy, Sherlock Sam’s older sibling, Sherlock’s classmate Jimmy (think Hammy the squirrel from the animated film Over the Hedge), history buff Nazhar, queen diva Eliza and Officer Siva. After all, nothing says Singapore like having every race represented!
As you’ve probably guessed, the local setting is a big part of the story and is the real draw of the series. Each book’s title doesn’t just describe the case, but includes a Singaporean locale like Katong in Book 1 and Fort Canning in Book 2. Each location includes slew of additional, often-related information, such as a closer look at the Peranakan culture in Book 1, and Book 2’s quick sampling of local supernatural legends about ghosts and other ghouly hantus.
The third book and latest addition to the series is entitled Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah. In this latest adventure, Sherlock and his supporting cast, now known as the Supper Club, would be visiting one of Singapore’s several international schools as part of an exchange programme. At the same time, they are “recruited” by Officer Siva to investigate threatening letters that one of the students has been receiving.
Like the previous two books, Sinister Letters continues to feature little educational tidbits about Singapore, but now tops it up with a huge serving of Mexican culture, which is sure to capture the imagination of any Singaporean who hasn’t visited the Americas before. The main plot itself is engaging and exciting with no drop in pace and is perhaps the most dramatic and clever story yet. In addition, it is written in such a way that both children and adults can enjoy it together. Especially if you’re geeks!
You can pick up the latest book Sherlock Sam and the Sinister Letters in Bras Basah (as well as the previous two books in the series if you haven’t already done so) and get it autographed by the authors TODAY! A.J. Low, a pseudonym for married couple Felicia and Adan will be at Popular Bookstore in Serangoon NEX mall today together with writer Maranna Chan of young adult series Triple Nine Sleuths as part of an event by the books’ publisher Epigram Books from 2pm-4pm. Each Sherlock Sam book is ~$10 and is also available at several bookstores including Books Kinokuniya.