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Literature / Lock And Mori

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"Sherlock Holmes surprised me by saying just the right thing about my mum's death - which was to say nothing at all"
James "Mori" Moriarty
You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

A 2015 Young Adult mystery novel by Heather W. Petty, Lock & Mori acts as a pastiche of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes characters, with the setting updated to the present day. The book details a friendship - and even a possible relationship - between a sixteen year old Holmes and Moriarty, the latter being genderflipped.

After a classmate's father is murdered and the police at a loss for leads, the enigmatic sixteen-year-old Sherlock "Lock" Holmes challenges his newfound friend James "Mori" Moriarty to a game to see who can solve the murder first. There is only one rule: they have to share all clues with each other. Initially unwilling to participate, a budding romance between the pair soon draws Mori closer to Lock, all the while pushing him away after her own evidence reveals a suspect a lot closer to her than she previously thought, and Mori is forced to take matters into her own hands lest the killer go free.


Lock & Mori was followed by two sequels: Mind Games (2016) and Final Fall (2017).

This book provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Lock is portrayed as a reasonably attractive young man, one character calling him "geeky-hot", in contrast to the original depiction of a thin, scarecrow-esque man with a beak of a nose, although this could be put down to the high-school setting.
    • Evident especially with Mori, not least because of her gender-switch. In the canon, Moriarty was an elderly "reptilian" man with an imposing manner and crooked stance, whereas here he, or she, is an attractive young woman, although her looks are rarely touched upon.
    • Again evident with Mycroft. In the books Mycroft Holmes is an enormously fat man, but here he is merely a tall yet stocky young man, although again this could be justified with the de-aging of the characters.
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  • Adapted Out: John Watson appears in two scenes.
  • Aerith and Bob: Sherlock and James, despite the latter being an odd female name.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Mori and the murderer in the climax of the book.
  • Awkward Kiss: This happens on the occasion, most notably the pair's second kiss, presumably due to Lock's inexperience with romance.
  • Batman Gambit: Mori attempts to do this to her father in the climax.
  • Beneath Notice: The identity of the murderer as Mori's father, a police officer.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Lock and Mori get into a vicious fight whilst on the train to Sussex, only to make up not long after.
  • Character Development: Sherlock goes from being an antisocial genius with no friends to a slightly more sociable one with a girlfriend.
    • Likewise, Mori descends from a good-willed high school student to a full-on mastermind who attempts to murder her own father.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Whenever Lock smokes, he is normally stressed-out or anxious.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sherlock and Mycroft's father is nonexistent.
  • Doomed Appointment: Mori's friend Sadie Mae Jackson has one of these.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mori's mother Emily was in love with James Moriarty SR, although admittedly he didn't become a murderer until after her death
  • Foreshadowing: Mori plans a grand scheme to kill her murderer of a father, in the same vein as her canon counterpart.
    • Also, Sherlock is shown to already live at 221 Baker Street, despite in the books he moves in to 221b with John Watson (although it is possibly he could move back in the future).
  • Gender Flip: Despite retaining her canon counterpart's name, James Moriarty is now a sixteen-year-old girl, albeit with a similar intelligence to the Professor.
  • Little Miss Badass: Mori is mentioned to have taken aikido lessons with her mother, although they are rarely focused on.
    • One scene involves her threatening an arrogant young man with a switchblade pressed into his crotch.
    • The final fight scene in the end with her father involves Mori attacking him with a knife.
  • Missing Mom: Mori's mother Emily died six months prior.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Not from any of the characters themselves, but rather from the author, who, due to being American, occasionally writes Mori as saying mom instead of mum.
  • Sherlock Scan: This is a Sherlock Holmes novel after all.
    • Upon their first meeting, Lock correctly deduces Mori is an understudy and that she takes drama in order to please one of her parents.
    • Mori herself later deduces that a murdered man was paralyzed before finally killed, due to the position of his hands.
    • Mori even outsmarts Sherlock during a deduction game on a train, where she deduces a teenage girl crying in their train car is pregnant, and Lock for the life of him cannot figure out what is wrong.