Detective, Mystery & Thriller,  Young Adult & Juvenile

Hemlock Jones & the Underground Orphans – Justin Carroll

Super enthusiastic about this second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles – Justin Carroll has done it again and I LOVE it! Chinese pirates, the London sewers and way too many rats all around.. what do they have in common? Follow our favourite demystifier Hemlock Jones and her sidekick, Edward Whitlow on another thrilling, exciting and gripping adventure in HEMLOCK JONES & THE UNDERGROUND ORPHANS!


When Hemlock Jones sends away a gentleman by the name of Mr Willoughby because his case simply sounds way too dull – someone who is upset because a rivalling firm, the Pelmet-Johnston Railway Company is somehow faster, cheaper digging tunnels under London’s city for the underground, she could never have guessed…

Perhaps we should start in the orphanage, where Sammy wakes up in the middle of the night by a strange, scraping sound… and the next morning, all the children have disappeared from the orphanage! Just like that! Hemlock Jones would not be our Hemlock Jones if this wasn’t just the sort of case she would love to investigate… our favourite demystifier is back! And Eddie – pardon me, Edward is only too happy to assist her. At first, anyway…


After dismissing Mr Willoughby’s case as industrial espionage and utterly boring, Hemlock Jones is super interested to learn about the missing children from the orphanage. With her usual aplomb, she drags Edward with her to the headquarters of ‘Division C of the London Metropolitan Police’ and demands to speak to Inspector Trelawney. Having met our demystifier before, the inspector is – to say it nicely – not very pleased to see Hemlock before him but, since he has no clue as to the whereabouts of the missing children, he reluctantly agrees to Hemlock and Eddie working the case.

After thoroughly examining the scene of the crime – the dormitory where the twenty-two boys slept and were taken away during the night, Hemlock reaches her conclusion much to the surprise of the inspector. We have to smile when Hemlock sends the inspector away to investigate and, like Eddie, have no idea what, how and why.

To Edward, the disappearance of the children is still a fifteen-puzzle mystery but Hemlock, with her brilliant brain and deductive powers, is already overseeing the bigger picture. For those of us, who have read about her previous case (Hemlock Jones & the Angel of Death) it comes as no surprise to learn Hemlock is right – once again and much to Edward’s annoyance! But there is something he is keeping from her and hopefully, it will not turn against him, them!

Soon, Edward and Hemlock find themselves in murky waters and, to make matters far worse, are surrounded by devious and obnoxious.. rats! As if that is not enough, danger lurks around the corner and to get to the bottom of this case, Hemlock and Edward have to go beyond and beneath the streets of London, where the menacing darkness harbours life-threatening situations and sinister villains with evil schemes…

Read the Character Spotlight on Hemlock Jones here

The Hemlock Jones Chronicles:
#1 Hemlock Jones & the Angel of Death –  my review
#2 Hemlock Jones & the Underground Orphans

My Thoughts

Hemlock Jones & the Underground Orphans totally blew me away! The plot seems even more intricate than the first book, the characters and the events spellbinding and adventurous.

The pace of this second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles is so fast, that I was glad it was Christmas – one day of Hemlock and Eddie acting normal, having a tree, eating a Christmas lunch and exchanging gifts. After that little time to breathe, the adventures continued at a steady pace and it was really thrilling.

The plot is cunningly woven and is captivating, the ending superb. I absolutely LOVED how Hemlock and Eddie interacted in this second book, they are special to each other and to me! What a story, what a brilliant sequel to the first Hemlock Jones book. I LOVE it. It is a great read and I highly recommend the Hemlock Jones Chronicles to everyone from the age of ten and over – it is a series for children of ALL ages.

About Justin Carroll

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His Hemlock Jones Chronicles are Young Adult novels featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Justin Carroll on Social Media:
Author website:


Book Info

Available at:

Barnes & Noble:

 Pages  210
 Publisher  Eldias Press (4 Nov. 2019)
 ISBN (paperback)  9781916165410
 ASIN (e-book)  B07YP1VDRS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: