Since I enjoyed Eye of the Crow so much, I decided to try the second book in Peacock's Boy Sherlock Holmes series. I didn't like Death in the Air quite as well, but on the other hand, I did stay up late one night to finish it, which I very rarely do. And I'm not sure why I didn't like it as well, as this book has a taut plot, good dialog, an impenetrable mystery, and good character development. It does have a slightly more episodic flavor to it, and lacks that central tie of crows that the first had, so I think that's probably why I liked the first better. But I'll definitely be reading more of this series!
Death in the Air begins when a famous trapeze artist falls to his death during a performance, landing almost at Sherlock's feet. Sherlock has been honing his observational skills, and he notices several things that make him believe the daring young man on the flying trapeze was murdered. He sets out to prove this, aided by a kindly apothecary who has semi-adopted him now that Sherlock no longer has a home. Once again, we meet up with his semi-rival Malefactor and his almost-friend Irene Doyle, though they are less central to this case.
Peacock makes some shrewd character observations, particularly about Sherlock Holmes. At one point, Irene Doyle says, "You have no interest in most people, it seems to me, other than those whom you can put in jail in order to make you feel better about yourself" (p. 109). While I'm not saying that the original Sherlock Holmes has self-hatred issues exactly, it's definitely something to turn around in my mind for a while, see how it fits with him.
Once again, there were a few things that were a bit too cutesy for my taste, for instance, when his new mentor tells him, "Should you go again... the Force should be with you!" (p. 180). The character's referring to the police force, but it's an obvious Star Wars reference that made me roll my eyes and jerked me out of the story.
So, not a perfect book, but an enjoyable one.
If this was a movie, I would rate it: PG for some violence and some language.