Sherlock Bones and the Art and Science Alliance
Allen & Unwin, 2022
288pp., graphic novel., RRP $A14.99
Sherlock Bones, a talkative tawny frogmouth skeleton, his companion Watts, a mute, stuffed Indian ringneck parrot and Grace, a sassy raccoon return in the third in this series, with a new mystery to solve in their natural history museum home. This time there is a new exhibition called “The Art and Science Alliance” and the rumour is that the painting of the ancient Greek hydra – an enormous snake-like monster with nine heads – comes alive at night, hissing and Sherlock and his cohorts are determined to find the truth.
Once again Treml has drawn on her degree in environmental science and passionate love of natural history to craft an intriguing story that informs as much as it entertains. Using the technique of Bones telling the story as a conversation with the reader, interspersed with lots of humour mostly consisting of puns better classified as ‘dad jokes’, she has crafted a graphic novel for young readers who have the skills to follow a story in this format.
This story opens up lots of different avenues for the interested reader to follow from the relationship between art and science (an initial discussion between Sherlock and Grace) to the intrigue of Greek mythology while being an engaging story in its own right.