Sunday, November 27, 2016

Middle Grade Mysteries: The Lost Property Office + Into the Lion’s Den

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middle-grade-mysteries

 

lost-property-office The Lost Property Office
James R. Hannibal

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. Not just a missing glove or the other sock, but things normal people have long given up on ever seeing again. If only he could find his father, who has disappeared in London without a trace.

But Jack’s father was not who he claimed to be. It turns out that he was a member of a secret society of detectives that has served the crown for centuries—and membership into the Lost Property Office is Jack’s inheritance.

Now the only way Jack will ever see his father again is if he finds what the nefarious Clockmaker is after: the Ember, which holds a secret that has been kept since the Great Fire of London. Will Jack be able to find the Ember and save his father, or will his talent for finding things fall short?

This wasn’t the best MG I’ve read ever but it is a whole lot of fun and a quick read. Kid me would have gobbled this up and had so much fun with the mystery element. This book features, secret societies, alternate histories unknown to the rest of the population, and MAGIC (kind of… it is really just fancy science things.) So basically, this book is brain candy in a pretty package (except for that bug on the cover, but don’t mind the bug.) My biggest issue is that the book might be ~too~ quick because there wasn’t enough buildup or development. We’re thrown right amidst this mess, which is fine, but I like knowing about secret society histories and I love me a well-developed villain (both of which the book seemed to lack.) ITS FINE THOUGH. The Lost Property Office is a whole lot of fun and I cannot wait to read more of this series.

3.5StarsXR

 

into-the-lions-den Into the Lion’s Den
Linda Fairstein

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

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), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

Written in the vein of books like Chasing Vermeer, Into the Lion’s Den will appeal to all the kids (and not kids), who love fun mysteries riddled with historical artefacts. As someone who grew up on Blue Balliett’s books, I was immediately taken in by the synopsis of this one and ready to devour it. Into the Lion’s Den is a fun read that will take you on an interesting chase through the streets of New York. It features some kick-ass ladies you cannot help but look up to and a kick-ass MC who is sometimes a little miss know-it-all but that’s okay because her friend reminds her when she goes overboard with assuming that she is the only one who knows all the things. This book is set in a library as a plus so my fellow bibliophiles will feel right at home :’) My only complain is that I wish that the characters felt less trope-y. Tropes are not necessarily a bad thing but in this case, I think the book would have benefited from better rounded characters. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this one to peeps!

3.5StarsXR

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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows and plan horrifying things. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so she will lure you over to the dark side with baked goodies and good book recommendations.

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