Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

January 20, 2009

The London Eye Mystery

By Siobhan Dowd
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

In this excellent mystery from across the pond, Ted's family is hosting his Aunt Gloria and her son Salim for a couple of days before they move to New York City. They decide to take everyone to the London Eye, a sort of sideways Ferris wheel for a bird's eye view of the city. But when a stranger offers Salim a free ticket and he goes up in the Eye on his own, something strange happens. He doesn't get back off. Salim has disappeared. As the family becomes frantic, Ted, whose brain works on its own operating system (he has some sort of neural disorder that is unidentified) teams up with his sister Kat to try and solve the mystery of Salim's disappearance. Using principles laid down by Sherlock Holmes and Ted's way of seeing things differently, the pair dive into some dodgy circumstances in their hope of finding their cousin, a trail that runs hot and cold and comes to an unexpected conclusion. Mystery addicts will find much to like here--an excellent story with an unusual narrator. Good stuff!

January 13, 2009

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan

By Nancy Springer
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

This is the 4th and may well be my favorite of the Enola Holmes mysteries so far. While still dodging her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock who would endeavor to put her into a boarding school, Enola encounters Lady Cecily--the girl she saved in The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. Cecily is flagged by two formidable older women and while she may not speak to Enola, Cecily manages to leave behind a pink fan--peculiar in that it seems to be a cheaply made. But once Enola uncovers the clue in the fan, she realizes Cecily is again in deep trouble--being held against her will and forced to marry! But where is she being held? And how can a 14 year old girl save her? Enola will have to face both of her brothers and even temporarily team up with one to be able to hatch a plan that just might work. In so doing, Enola has to finally come to terms with her feelings for her family members and some of them come to terms with her. It is a fast-paced and enjoyable mystery that fans will be pleased to zip through. You are better off having read the other books before tackling this one, but even someone new to the series will catch on quickly and want to go back and read its predecessors.

January 06, 2009


By Elise Broach
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this fun mystery, Marvin is a black beetle living with his family in a cupboard in the Pompaday's apartment. On the Pompaday's older son James' birthday, Marvin wishes to give James a gift for he is by far their favorite of the family. But when he crawls up onto James' desk, he finds the pen and ink set James' father had given at a gift. Marvin dips his feet in the ink and is suddenly inspired to draw a picture. Marvin is further inspired the next morning to reveal himself to James. Marvin's family is horrified by his contact with humans, but James becomes Marvin's friend. Marvin's picture, which James has to take credit for, becomes a sensation in the family, and when James' artist father shows it to a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, suddenly James and Marvin are up to the ears in intrigue. The curator thinks James is a good enough artist to produce a fake of a picture by Durer. She has an elaborate plan to have the fake stolen, where hopefully they can trace it to the three other lost Durer drawings. James and Marvin have to scramble to be able to give Marvin the chance to copy the artwork. But when the real Durer and not the fake somehow gets stolen, can a beetle and a boy do anything to find a priceless work of art? Written with a light touch and plenty of suspense, readers will thoroughly enjoy the character of Marvin and his foray into the art world. Good fun! Fans of the film Ratatouille or of Broach's previous book, Shakespeare's Secret, will enjoy this story.