Sherlock Bones #2: Sherlock Bones and the Sea-Creature Feature – Renée Treml

In Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery, we met Bones, a skeletal tawny frogmouth, and Watts, a stuffed blue Indian ringneck parrot. This unconventional team are both exhibits in the state Natural History Museum. In the first book we also met Grace, a chocolate loving raccoon.

There’s talk of a swamp monster who may have “squid-napped” the octopus. Our new mystery takes place in a brand new exhibit, Reef to Shore. There’s definitely something fishy going on in there.

I know, I know … But I couldn’t help myself. In my defence, the author started it!

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Naturally Bones, Watts and Grace take it upon themselves to investigate. Along the way they meet a new friend, Nivlac the octopus. Our intrepid trio navigate their way around touch pools and the mangroves searching for clues. It will take teamwork, keen observation skills and some cardio.

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Nevertheless, our team is keen to solve any mystery that comes their way, even the mystery of how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Granted, Grace is slightly more interested in her search for chocolate than she is in solving the bigger mysteries but you can’t blame her for that.

If you keep an eye out for visual clues you’ll probably be able to solve the mystery for yourself. Observant readers will learn the identity of the thief from the first book early in this sequel so you may want to read them in order to avoid spoilers.

Like the first book, you’ll accidentally learn as you make your way through this one, with some interesting facts about cryptozoology and some of the animals you meet along the way.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Etch, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Sherlock Bones’ home, the Natural History Museum, has added an exciting new exhibit, Reef to Shore, that includes a mangrove forest and shallow coral reef habitat, with touch tanks in between. When Sherlock overhears a that a swamp monster has been sighted, he gathers his team to investigate. At first Sherlock Bones suspects Nivlac, a quirky octopus with a talent for camouflage – and tank pranks.

But then, loud bellowing leads Bones and team to the mangroves, where they find a horrifying long-haired green beast! Can they escape the creature – or is it too late for our beloved frogmouth bird skeleton and his ragtag mystery-solving team?

Sherlock Bones #1: Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery – Renée Treml

When the royal blue diamond, the world’s largest gemstone, goes missing from the State Natural History Museum it’s up to Sherlock Bones and Watts to solve the mystery, even if the main suspect is a ghost. If they don’t, then the museum may close and Bones certainly doesn’t want to be put into storage.

Sherlock Bones is a tawny frogmouth and Watts is a blue Indian ringneck parrot. Both are exhibits in the state Natural History Museum. Bones is, well, bones and Watts is stuffed, so while Bones knows what she says, the reader doesn’t. They’re joined by Grace the raccoon, who is very much alive and in need of chocolate. You’ll also meet Mickey who, you guessed it, is a mouse.

This is a really fun read. I loved the humour, which was appropriate for both adults and children. There’s some enjoyable slapstick humour but there are also some more subtle smiles that adults will appreciate. I loved the jar containing a herring that’s beside one containing a red herring. You’ll also stumble upon some accidental learning, with interesting facts included that don’t detract from the story.

This is a highly illustrated chapter book. I would encourage you to look closely at all of the pictures because there are clues scattered throughout the illustrations that will help you solve the mystery. I also liked discovering other elements that, while not part of the mystery, were interesting, including a hermit crab checking out suitable replacements for its shell.

I particularly loved that this book was written and illustrated by a fellow Australian. Okay, so she was born in America but she moved to Australia in 2007 so I’m claiming her, especially since the focus in the book was on Australian animals. There’s also the requisite “Blimey!”

I can’t tell you how much I loved that the main character was a tawny frogmouth. We have a tawny frogmouth couple who either hang out on our clothes line or hunt in our front yard most nights and I adore them!

I really hope this book is the first in a series because I need to know what mystery Sherlock Bones and Watts will investigate next.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the wonderful surprise in the mail today. I love book competitions! I read an advanced proof copy and I hope nothing changes prior to publication.

Oh, and while I’m just a tad outside of the age range for this book’s target audience, that doesn’t stop me from feeling pretty darn proud of myself for finding the clues and solving the mystery before Sherlock Bones and Watts did. 😜

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Hi there, I’m Sherlock Bones.

Who is Sherlock Bones, you ask? Well, I don’t like to brag, but my trusty side-kick Watts says I’m the greatest detective in our whole museum. 

Don’t you, Watts? 

Watts … ?

You might not be able to hear Watts, because he’s technically a stuffed parrot, but I always know what he’s thinking.

And right now he’s thinking: Can we solve the mystery of the missing Blue Diamond and save the Museum of Natural History, before it’s too late?