A new kid-detective series offers a cross-cultural twist.
Samuel Tan Cher Lock is a Chinese boy growing up in Singapore. He prefers to go by Sherlock Sam after his hero, Sherlock Holmes. While ever hungry narrator Sam will be familiar to many food-crazy Singaporeans, American readers may get frustrated at the numerous unfamiliar terms such as kaya toast and Khong Guan biscuits (“biscuits” actually refers to cookies); the lengthy and informative glossary will help. Hopefully Sam's knack for digging up details and smart deductions will keep readers flipping the pages. Regardless, this food-related mystery is a perfect introduction to the series. Auntie Kim Lian has promised to cook Sam’s favorite dish, ayam buah keluak (chicken cooked in black nut sauce), but her family cookbook is missing and she can’t make it without the recipe! Sam is determined to find the cookbook and have ayam buah keluak for dinner. Together with his crew—wisecracking robot Watson, big sister Wendy, and classmate Jimmy—Sam retraces Auntie Kim Lian’s steps all over the Katong neighborhood. After a day of sleuthing, everyone is ready to give up. However, Sherlock Sam has a stroke of genius and solves the mystery—at a restaurant no less! In addition to a smattering of black-and-white line drawings that liven up the story, the glossary in the back explains both the Singapore slang and foods mentioned in the book. The sequel, Sherlock Sam and the Ghostly Moans in Fort Canning, publishes simultaneously.
A funny, fast-paced mystery with many Singapore-specific details that provide cultural flavor. (list of characters) (Mystery. 7-9)