Every Breath

Ellie Marney

Every Breath
Allen & Unwin
29 November 2022

Every Breath

Ellie Marney

What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour and schoolmate - intriguing, troubled, and passionate about forensics.

Things start going south when, after sneaking out one night, they find the murdered body of their friend. Mycroft knows he can't let it go, and Watts knows she has to help, even if it means opening old wounds and complicating their friendship.

But they have more than just the murder to worry about: Mycroft is acting out more than usual and Watts's family is struggling. As tensions run high and words cut deep, can they solve the mystery, evade the killer, and work out what they mean to each other?


Contemporary re-imaginings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes have proved successful of late. This debut Australian novel offers another worthwhile interpretation, with a uniquely YA approach.

“Watts” is teenage Rachel, whose family has given up their farm and moved to Melbourne following money troubles. Refreshingly, she’s not happy about living in the city, being a roll-up-your-flannel-shirtsleeves kind of girl. But one giant attraction in Melbourne, though she wouldn’t admit it, is her neighbour James Mycroft. He can’t look after himself (Watts brings him dinner every night) and is constantly in trouble, but also happens to be a genius-detective in the making. The two stumble on a murder and as the case heats up their relationship progresses with plenty of tension and lost moments.

Watts is extremely likeable – responsible but not square – while Mycroft is irresistibly rebellious but deep-down wounded. Their chemistry makes for great reading. We’re kept guessing about the crime but the author also weaves in interesting dynamics between Watts and her family, and her new city friends, making this a very thorough story with plenty of heart as well as mystery.

Emily Gale

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