Posts tagged ‘detective stories’

FROM BAD TO WORSE

Charlie Bingham Gets Clocked #1

Written by Maggie M. Larche

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What else could go wrong? Charlie is in love with his teacher, Miss Walker. His best friend Brad brings his one-eyed lizard to school and loses it. The intelligent but insecure and nervous Brad has just been nominated to be on the Knowledge Bowl team. Miss Walker’s favorite alarm clock has disappeared. Two girls who are bitter enemies vow to become detective rivals locked in a contest to find the culprit. To make matters even worse, their muscle-bound music teacher, Mr. Wainwright, is also enamored of Miss Walker. He is determined to find and punish the student thief. Throughout the school day this elusive clock will make its way around the school until the culprit is found. Will the truth ever come out? Who will finally solve the mystery? Will the thief get the punishment he deserves?

This book is aimed at the eight to twelve year old audience and features a nice balance of elements that appeal to this age group. There is lots of humor, enough plot twists, and empathetic characters with which readers can identify. Readers will surely be able to see themselves either as victims or heroes in the plot. Recommended as a fun read for friends or classmates to share and discuss.

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BUGGING OUT

Bed-Bugged (Doodle bugged Mysteries Book 1)

Written by Susan J. Kroupa

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First in a series of mysteries featuring a Labradoodle simply named Doodle. The dog has recently come from the pound to live with a master he calls boss and his daughter Molly. Doodle has been trained to sniff out bedbugs. Boss organized the Hunter Detection Company in the hopes of making a new start in the Washington, DC area. Everything rests on Doodle making it a success.

Ten year old Molly is smart; she will begin a special science school program at the end of the summer. Molly’s hobby is taking pictures; she keeps a secret album of memories for her Mexican mother, who she has not seen since the age of three. When intruders steal Molly’s album and her computer, Doodle is frustrated that he is unable to catch them. It does not take Molly long to realize that there might be a connection to work that her father Josh has recently completed. Like Doodle the young preteen is relentless in her will to solve the mystery. There will be unlikely connections to crime and family.

This story is told in the first “person” voice of Doodle. It is lots of fun to hear a dog’s perspective and humor as to the quirky habits and personalities of humans. While the book touches on serious issues like family relationships, immigration, and divorce, the overall tone is upbeat making this book appropriate for preteens, teens and adults. The plot contains unexpected turns and characters are well-balanced. Recommended for mystery fans, animal lovers, and anyone who enjoys curling up with an interesting read for a few hours.

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MYSTERIOUS MELANGE

Nick Spool Galactic Private Eye

Written by Clark Graham

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Contrary to what the title implies, this book is a collection of short stories. Not all of them are about a detective named Nick Spool. There are nine stories with various subjects. Though they all about strange happenings, I would not classify them as strictly science fiction stories.

In the detective story, Nick Spool is called upon to investigate the murder of Zafir Ermen, who is a Gaululite. The setting is a world in the future which have cities in the sky belonging to different planets. The Gaululites are considered an inferior race. Nick’s discovers that his client, Patsy Lawless, is running a slave business trading Gaululites as servants to governors in sky cities. Nick uncovers the plot and is able to give the information about the murder to Detective Stark. Other stories include the descendants of World War II veterans who discover gold and bury it with the intention of returning after the war, a young boy who senses himself a stranger and turns out to be a descendant of a pre-Egyptian race, and another about an accountant who learns about a strange portal and decides to walk through it, discovering he is about to live a life of luxury in the dwarf colony on the other side. He finds out the life is not all that has been promised.

The stories have appeal for those who like unusual characters in quirky settings. This would be a good book to take on vacation. Nothing objectionable in it for the middle school reader. Readers nine and older will find the tales humorous and easy to read. Quality of the stories vary, but are written well for the most part. I would rate the collection between three and four stars.

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