Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mystery Pick: Madhattan Mystery

Madhattan Mystery
By John J. Bonk
Walker ( Bloomsbury)
2012
292 pages

Fun, free-spirited, and fantastic, Madhattan Mystery is a madcap mystery adventure in New York City.

Lexi and Kevin McGill travel by train to New York when their father marries step-mother Clare and takes a trip to Europe. The kids will stay with their Aunt Roz, an eccentric, over-the-top actress—think Auntie Mame and you’ll have Roz.

While at Grand Central Station, Lexi steps into the fabled Whispering Gallery, where a whisper from one corner of the giant room can be heard hundreds of feet away due to the acoustics. Lexi overhears two mysterious men whispering about a secret heist and she overhears “needle, track sixty-one, Grand Central, oval disk, park, jewels.” Lexi knows these guys are up to no good.

The next day’s newspaper confirms her fears. Cleopatra’s fabled jewels are missing from the “Queen of the Nile” exhibit. Lexi feels terrible. She may know who did it, but how does she convince grown-ups? She mentions her plight to her younger brother Kevin and snarky, flippant, abrasive "friend" Kim Ling Levine, a girl who lives in Aunt Roz’s building. Kim is a wonderful character—she’s flippant, feisty, fierce, and near-genius! Her dream is to be a news reporter, and she’s unstoppable when tracking down clues.

The tween threesome finds track sixty-one and follow clues to find the jewels. The thieves know who Lexi is and where she lives. The kids will have to be careful to solve the crime and put the bad guys behind bars before the bad guys are onto them. Can three tweens solve “The Crime of the Century” and collect the reward?

I loved Aunt Roz—she is the epitome of a bright Broadway star whose with moxie—a middle aged actress still chasing the dream but ending up with smaller and smaller parts. She knows the score but won’t let it get her down. She’s like the Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Lexi is cute and a red-head—finally! A red head protagonist with strength and wit has been missing in kid lit for a long time. And what can be said of Kim Ling—I wanna be like her when I grow up!

Girls and mystery lovers will devour Madhattan Mystery .

Highly, highly recommended grades 5-up. No language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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