Archives for category: Genre: Mystery

Published by Puffin Books.

Some of you may have read The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd, some years ago. This volume continues the adventures of Ted Spark – just three months after he solved the mystery of what happened to Salim, his cousin who, (if you didn’t guess, or know) disappeared off the London Eye. This is Ted’s second mystery – set around the theft of a picture from the Guggenheim museum in New York.

I have dipped into The London Eye Mystery, but haven’t yet managed to read it; it sells itself by word of mouth, and I do like to encourage new good books. I have read enough though to be happy to include it in my piles, with the notation that though not read by me yet, I believe it to be good. I will be reading it very soon; I loved The Guggenheim Mystery – its brilliant and extremely well written.

Ted Sparks is rather a unique character – and having a trip to New York to see Salim should be a holiday to remember, but not for his aunt being arrested for theft….

Robin Stevens is the author of the Wells and Wong detective novels.  There are six so far, and are very distinctive cover wise, with very bright covers. I have read the first in the series (I have too many books to read to try them all) – and wrote a post about it some time ago. This is very different – set mainly in New York, and is a brilliant bit of deduction.

So, for all those potential Poirots, Christies, Holmeses, Chestertons e.t.c that are out there – do read the Wells and Wong books, but start with The London Eye Mystery (Siobhan Dowd), then this and then disappear into Murder Most Unladylike. They will keep you out of mischief for some time to come!

Do remember, though, to read as wide a range of authors as possible – it is very easy to just follow one; only to miss out on new potentially superb authors. Its important for your health to eat a wide ranging diet, the same is true for reading – your English will improve if you read many different authors…(they use different words, and their use of language is different)…. It makes reading more interesting and food, quite extraordinary…

The titles in the Wells & Wong series so far run to six:

Murder Most UnladylikeArsenic for Tea, First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, Mistletoe and Murder and Cream Buns and Crime.

There are also two mini volumes: The Case of the Blue Violet and The Case of the Deepdean Vampire.



Published by Bloomsbury

This post must not be read by my friend Min, till after her birthday, or Christmas this year (2016). I liked this book so much I have bought her a copy and she mustn’t read it till she had got her copy from me.

Not only is this a superb little book, with a most intriguing and slightly worrying story, it is also illustrated by Emily Gravett. It was for this reason, really that I read the only copy we had in stock. I am a great fan of Emily Gravett’s picture books (Spells, Wolves, Blue Chameleon, & Meerkat Mail amongst others) and picked this up as a result. It has those wonderful folded covers that give strength to paperbacks, and a rather fun illustration on the cover.

It is the tale of imaginary friends. It is not the usual tale of imaginary friends and is I think a little disturbing. I have never thought of their being a community of characters employed as imaginary friends for ‘real’ people, or for that matter that some of them might not be as benign as we are led to believe.

This was marvellous. If I am ever given the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of this, or a print, or even an original drawing (I would love just a print of Zinzan) I shall do so.

It is a remarkable and unique volume…

I hope Min hasn’t read it or got it…


Published by Chicken House

Alice Jones enjoys numbers. She likes the fact the numbers balance. That there is usually an answer that is final and complete. She likes to count in prime numbers when stressed, or if that doesn’t work she will switch to the Fibonacci Sequence. She is that type of girl.

Her father is a journalist and has taught his daughters that the truth is what is important with a story and it is the truth of the mystery that makes this story so good.

It is a mystery, a crime book, a story of families and of standing up for what is right, as well as a book coloured a little by numbers…

A fun and enticing story. Will we ever manage to make an invisibility suit, or is that just an idea for stories like Harry Potter?

NB – I had no idea what the Fibonacci Sequence is until I looked it up. It is a sequence of numbers where the next number is the sum of the two previous numbers. How that is useful, I really don’t know, but I have learnt what it is, which I suppose is something.



Published by Chicken House

This is the second book that I have read recently that contains imaginary friends (I haven’t got around to reviewing the other, just yet).  This is a charming mystery set in Shanghai. It is really rather wonderful with the imaginary friends giving an important and rather special edge to the story.

Full of fantasy and colour this would make a lovely book for someone who is now confident, or to whom the book would be read.

I loved it.

Published by O’Brien Press

I know very, very little about rugby – however as the Rugby World Cup has been going on I started to search for books for young players to read. There are a number of books about characters that play football, but we had none that covered this game. I ordered copies of this series for my branch of Waterstones, and it seems that only one book came in – Rugby Rebel.

I loved it – a mixture of ghosts, Irish history, mystery, and of course rugby. The story is one of a collection of titles – and did refer to others ‘earlier’ in the series – but that didn’t really matter (apart from making me want to read the rest) – as the story was complete in itself as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it – even though I have to admit to still not knowing anything about rugby – I have to take it on faith that the references to the game were possible and or likely.

There are four in the series – Rugby Spirit, Rugby Warrior, Rugby Rebel and Rugby Flyer. Sadly I don’t have the copy of Rugby Rebel that I read at work here at home – so I’m uncertain of the order of the books. I am sure, however that they are well worth reading – and purchasing. If you enjoy rugby – then buy these!

I suspect they are not books that will be found readily available on the shelves of English bookshops (they may be around in Ireland) – so they may have to be ordered in for you – but they are worth it.

The cover design for Rugby Rebel is indicative of those for the rest of the series. It doesn’t in my view promote the book particularly well…I think, perhaps they would have been more dramatic if they had used a photograph, but as they say, never judge a book by its cover.

Published by Hachette Children’s Books

This is an extraordinary book, full of mythical creatures, suspense, history and drama – I am approximately half way through and have become totally involved with Ruby and her adventures.

The description of Shanghai in 1926 is like nothing I have ever come across, full of gangs and general unrest; things are unpredictable at the best of times, and trouble is brewing. Ruby’s brother has died and there are only hints as to what happened to him so far – but there is more to what we have been told.

Ruby’s friends the Tang family have disappeared amongst the general unrest and she’s really unsure as to what has happened to them, or even if they are safe. Her parent’s behaving oddly and are trying to protect her, but she’s got more on her mind than their demands that she stays home, with results that are far reaching and that is nothing to the spirits (hu li jing and others) that are roaming the city and taking an unhealthy interest in her.

This is a superb and brilliant addition to Julian Sedgwick’s titles – (previously published: The Mysterium Trilogy: The Black Dragon, The Palace of Memory, and The Wheel of Life and Death, along with Dark Satanic Mills co-authored with Marcus Sedgwick, and the e-book Escalator to the Clouds.)

Edgy and full of colour this is a book to savour and to enjoy.

Since writing this I have now finished the book – and what an ending! I am pleased to report that this is the start of a series – Shadows of the Yangtze, the further adventures of Ruby and Charlie and continuation of this story is advertised as coming out in February 2016…It can’t come soon enough!

Published by Scholastic / Not yet published at time of going to post – Advertised September 2015

An Egyptian flavoured school crime story with the almost required ancient mummy and curse. An amalgamation of elements of circus, boarding school, Enid Blyton type of adventure with friendship ultimately winning through. Great fun. A phrase from the old Scooby Doo cartoons sprang to mind at the end. First person, 8-9 years. Lovely cover on the proof. I hope the art work will be reflected in that of the finished published volume (particularly that of the scaraband the lettering on the back). Advertised as September 2015

Published by Walker Books / ISBN 9781406353013

Not yet Published – May 2015

A story of illicit love. Cage fighting. Families, trust and tradition. Sammy-Jo is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter in a large gypsy family with all the allegiances and difficulties a large peripatetic family can have. The family is a maelstrom of characters from her grandmother through to the youngsters in the family. One of her sisters is due to get married and the organisation is down to Sammy-Jo who uses her extraordinary ability in cage fighting to subsidise the cost. Though that becomes the least of her worries as the story unfurls. A love story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliette, but modern and with startling results.

Colourful and intricately told with detail that makes the gypsy way of life very vivid – superbly done. Brilliant.

Published by Scholastic / ISBN 978 1407124339

Essentially this is a story about a family and secrets…an inheritance and about relationships. It was a very good feeling read – about three siblings trying to survive after the death of their parents. Jonathan the eldest, just turned 18 is responsible for the family and the story relates how this affects him and his relationship with his sister Holly and Davy the youngest of the three. It is written in first person and their adventures searching for buried treasure and what they found is both moving and captivating.