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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the “The Great Mouse Detective” series that was adapted from this original version.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Basil is a mouse living in Holmestead, a mouse community located in the basement of 221B Baker Street. Basil and his friend Dr. Dawson often creep into Sherlock Holmes' flat to learn his methods of observation. Basil is especially attentive and gains a reputation as a gifted detective. Mice within his own community and from nearby towns begin to seek his help.

The mice wish to avoid discovery, so only Basil and Dawson are allowed in the flat. One day, as Basil and Dawson return from a visit to Holmes’ flat, their housekeeper intercepts them and explains that Basil's neighbors, the Proudfoots, are waiting for him. When Basil arrives home, the Proudfoots explain that their twin daughters have been missing since that afternoon.

Basil begins investigating. He discovers that the emergency exit in Baker Street’s basement was left open. There are also five sets of footprints leading out: two small and three large. Basil concludes that the children were kidnapped but followed the adults outside willingly. Basil then returns home to await a ransom note.

A strange mouse appears the next day bringing the note. Basil concludes that the messenger is a carpenter and has a happy marriage. The note demands that all of the mice vacate Holmestead within 48 hours so that a gang known as The Terrible Three can use it as their London headquarters. The twins will never be seen again if the community doesn't comply. Basil deduces that the messenger came from a town called Mousecliffe-on-Sea, so he and Dawson travel there to investigate — without notifying the rest of the community about the threat.

Basil, disguised as a ship captain, discovers that The Terrible Three own a yacht anchored near Mousecliffe-on-Sea. He questions a grocery store clerk and learns that their messenger, Harry Hawkins, is an honest carpenter and family man. Basil concludes that The Terrible Three are using Hawkins' family as leverage to make him do things. Basil visits the local police station and enlists the help of a constable to arrest The Terrible Three later that night.

Before the arrest, Basil and Dawson go out for dinner. Knowing that The Terrible Three have spies in the restaurant they’ve chosen, Basil loudly tells Dawson that they will board the yacht later that night. When Dawson and Basil arrive at the yacht, The Terrible Three attack them. The Terrible Three tie up Basil and Dawson, but before they can throw the two investigators into the sea, the constable arrives with the rest of the police force to arrest the gang.

Basil and Dawson hurry to Hawkins’ home and convince him to take them to the twins, reassuring him that The Terrible Three can no longer hurt his family. The twins are rescued from the loft of a barn in the woods and are reunited with their parents. Then a new client visits Basil.

Christian Beliefs

Dawson begins to silently pray when he thinks the twins have been moved to a new hiding place. But no specific God is mentioned. After finding the twins, Dawson says his prayer was answered.

Other Belief Systems

Dawson believes luck is with him and Basil.

Authority Roles

The Proudfoots are concerned and loving parents, distraught over the absence of their twin daughters. The kidnappers are able to grab the twins because of their disobedience to their parents. (Their parents told them not to speak to strangers, and they did.) The police are helpful and kind, if a bit incompetent. The constable is in awe of Basil, and Basil lists several cases he has solved that were too difficult for the police. The kidnappers trick the twins and intentionally frighten them. They also do not bother to feed or care for the twins, but Hawkins steps in and cares for them. Hawkins does what The Terrible Three ask of him in order to protect his family.

Profanity/Violence

Heaven and Jove are used as expressions.

When the twins first go missing, someone asks if they could have been caught in a mousetrap. Dawson carries a revolver. When he hears an owl hoot, he worries he will be eaten. The Terrible Three purposely jostle Dawson and Basil's table at the restaurant. Dawson rises from his seat to fight before Basil stops him.

When Dawson and Basil fight the gang on the yacht, Dawson describes tackling multiple mice. Basil knocks three of them senseless before he is disarmed. The gang ties up the two mice and prepares to throw them overboard before the police arrive. The police and the gang intensely battle.

An owl seizes Dawson and tries to fly away. Basil and Hawkins attack the owl — kicking, biting and beating it with sticks — until Dawson is released. The owl is badly hurt and unable to fly.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Lying: Hawkins lives out a lie when he does not tell his wife about his involvement with The Terrible Three.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

6 to 9

Author

Eve Titus

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Whittlesley House, a division of the McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc.; Eve Titus’ books were adapted by Simon & Schuster and given the series name of “The Great Mouse Detective” based on the 1986 Disney film The Great Mouse Detective.

Released

On Video

Year Published

1958

Awards

Unknown

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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