Posts tagged ‘detectives’

EMERALDS AND EAGLES

The Secrets’s of Sinbad’s Cave (Book 1 in the Natnat Adventures)

Written by Brydie Walker Bain

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The first book in this adventure series combines myths, legends, fantasy, magic and treasure hunting into an exciting read not only for tweens and teens but for adult readers as well. Set in New Zealand, the book also offers a glimpse into a part of the world unknown to many.

As the story opens, readers meet Drake and Cortez, who are professional thieves seeking to find a long lost treasure hidden in the caves. In the second chapter, we meet Mike and his children, Nat, Jack, Kathleen who are struggling to save the farm and their beloved horses, which they are about to lose due to financial troubles. When Kathleen falls through a hole in the roof of the attic, she finds a hidden room complete with a treasure box of clues, and the adventure begins. The children have only two weeks left of summer vacation to solve the mystery and save the farm before they have to return to their mother living in the city.

Assisted by their friends, Elijah and Barnaby they set off on their quest. Their clues lead them to seek help from the Maori, Abraham Te Kaitiaki and his niece, Riki. When thieves break into the children’s home seeking the box, all realize the danger. But the children and their Maori guides are relentless. A giant eagle, pixies (Patupaiarehe), and a tiny magic bird encourage the children not to give up. Where did this legend come from and how is it connected to this family? Will they be able to unravel the clues ahead of the professional thieves and save the family farm?

The author does a great job of moving the plot along and introduces enough complications to keep the story interesting. I read the book in one sitting, but the book could easily be used in a classroom as a read aloud or link to many subject different areas of curriculum. Bain entices the reader by giving a preview of the next adventure, which sounds just as exciting as the first. Highly recommended for treasure hunters age nine and older.

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DETECTIVE DEBUT

Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar

Written by Tommy Davey

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Cora is a spunky preteen who is traveling alone for the first time on a overnight train from the city to Topaz Mountain to spend some time in the country with her Uncle Andre. She meets a colorful cast of characters including a single woman, Mrs. Bronwyn, and her dog, Calvin. Almost immediately she notices a man named Mr. Sloane, who is being overprotective of a silver briefcase that he does not let out of his sight. It turns out that he has good reason for that because Mr. Sloane is carrying a valuable gemstone. The stone disappears from his sleeping car; Cora, a honeymoon couple, Mrs. Bronwyn, a college student, and the railroad porter will all be suspects interrogated by an undercover detective on the train.

The inspector is determined to solve the mystery by interrogation, but Cora has a few plans of her own. Will they be able to unravel the mystery to find out the identify of the thief? Cora proves her cleverness and keeps her cool. All the action takes place in less than two hundred pages before the passengers disembark from the train. Certainly this is a first ride that Cora will long remember and the beginning of her interest in solving many mysteries to follow.

Great story for tweens. It has the elements of a good mystery, colorful characters, and a respectful, intelligent strong female role model. This is a quick, fast moving read that will appeal to reluctant readers. Recommended highly for boys and girls eight years up and older.

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WELL-DESERVED PRAISE

The Hunt for the Well Hidden Treasure: K.I.D.S. Adventure Series

Written by Bob Sheard and Timothy Taylor

 

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El Cazador, a Spanish pirate, has just stolen The King’s Cross, but his ship is surrounded by cannon fire. Desperate to escape, he slips over the side of his ship, deserting the rest of his crew. As he makes his way to shore, he knows that the Mexican revolutionaries will soon be after him. The captain decides to bury the heavy chest.

Almost two hundred years later on September 15, 2013, the town of Knightsbridge, California is going wild with the news that skeletal remains of a notorious pirate have been found by hikers in a cavern. His leather journal lay nearby containing the details that he was returning to find a hidden treasure. Professional organizations and local treasure hunters are already hard at work seeking to discover the chest.

Will and his father have recently moved to Knightsbridge; Will has few friends. He is intelligent and clever and immediately becomes interested in treasure-hunting. When Mikey discovers Will’s research notes, he cannot wait to share¬†them with his two best friends, Evelyn and Susan. Fate and mutual curiosity will throw¬† all of them together into a partnership. The foursome will face challenges from international organizations, fellow students and entrepreneurs, but they will pool their intelligence, computer skills, and mechanical abilities to sort through all possibilities until they finally solve the mystery.

Will they find the treasure and become rich? Needless to say, the adventure leaves them determined to set up a detective agency to solve future mysteries and reward readers with lots of adventures. This book has a plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, the dialogue is authentic to middle grade students, and the characters appealing and well-developed. Targeted for ages eight through twelve, but written well enough for older teens as well. Detective story fans might just have a new series to follow.

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