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Tag Archives: detective

Into the Lion’s Den

into-the-lions-denTitle: Into the Lion’s Den
Author: Linda Fairstein
Series: Devlin Quick Mysteries
Recommended for: 3rd- 6th Grade
Pages: 312 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION FAIRSTEIN, L.

Synopsis: Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Devlin and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

Devlin is a great strong character who loves books and wants to show that she will make a great detective.  It is a great plot, but I felt like there was a lot of explaining, that was not necessary to the solving of the mystery.  There is a lot of talking trying to decide what to do and how to do things, and a little action.  I am going to try the next one to see if it gets better.  I thinks kids may like it and maybe they won’t find all the explanations unnecessary.

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Juv, Mysteries

 

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The Underdogs

underdogsTitle:  The Underdogs
Author: Sara Hammel
Series:
Recommended for: 5th grade and up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION HAMMEL, S.

Synopsis: The big reveal in this mystery is not who murdered golden girl Annabel Harper at an exclusive Massachusetts tennis club—though that’s startling enough. No, there’s actually a far bigger surprise. In alternating chapters, narrator Chelsea fills readers in on all that happened the weeks before Annabel was found dead by the side of the club’s pool, and after, as a local detective examined motives and opportunities among rising teen tennis stars, rich kids, and club personnel. Annabel was a fixture at the club, where her older brother was a lifeguard, and was especially nice to Chelsea and her best friend, Evie. Beautiful and sweet, Annabel attracted a great deal of attention and jealousy. But who could have disliked her enough to murder her? As with most good cozies, the suspects are numerous and the detective is tenacious. He has to be—as Evie and Chelsea follow him around and make dangerous discoveries on their own. Meanwhile, Evie, who is teased for being overweight, discovers she has a natural gift for tennis, though her tennis pro father seems not to notice. Readers learn more about Chelsea’s mysterious and abusive past before the club’s manager adopted her. The plot is well-thought-out, and though there isn’t a great deal of character development, except in Evie’s case, there doesn’t have to be for this mystery to score. VERDICT Once they get to the end, mystery lovers will want to go back and read it all again to find the hidden clues.

I wasn’t sure about this book at first.  It took me a while to get into it.  It might be because there isn’t a lot of character development except for Chelsea and Evie.  I hung in there through the first couple of chapters to learn more about them.  It was worth it.  I really didn’t see the twist at the end coming, and that doesn’t happen very often.  I would recommend this for mystery lovers and for kids who like books with puzzles and problems to solve.  There aren’t individual puzzles, the book itself is one big puzzle.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Juv, Mysteries

 

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Scarlett Undercover

23197297Title: Scarlett Undercover
Author: Jennifer Latham 
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 6th grade and Up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Latham, J.

Synopsis: Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks — and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.

My thoughts: First, let me say YAY for diversity, because YAY! It’s awesome to see a Muslim main character. Other than that, this one falls into the okay category for me. It’s fast paced and pulls you in right away, but then takes this sort weird supernaturally/mythological turn. By the end, I’m not sure if I should believe the legend that her family and many other for years and years and years have been a part of or if it’s simply the madness of an overzealous cult. I lean more towards the first, but still I would have enjoyed it had it not added in that craziness. Also, it seemed super convenient how everything ended up.

Scarlett herself is a great character. She has a lot of sass and spunk, but sometimes the way she though/spoke drove me insane (think old time detective stories). The side characters, especially her sister and a friend or two, held a lot of potential, but felt kind of one-dimensional. I just wanted MORE, but never really got it. Even the love/romance just sort of felt there.

 

If you can get pass the flaws, this is one worth checking out. While it’s a stand alone at the moment, there is room to make this into a series. Should that happen, I would totally pick it up as there is quite a bit of potential to tap into.

Read-a-likes:
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Dance of the Shadows by Yelena Black (If they want the supernatural spin mystery)

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Mysteries, Realistic, Teen

 

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