by Marcia Wells
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Eddie Red Undercover is that one middle grade book that will make you happy to be a kid or to be a kid again (for some of us)! It's great fun, packed with nerd-i-ness, art, history, museums, New York's artsy charm and bustle, a great father/son duo who share some great moments, a crusty old New York detective who has a heart of gold underneath it all, and a mystery worth uncovering, plus a few serious-ly strange goons who deserve what they get.
Edmund (code name "Eddie Red") is lucky (or cursed) enough to be blessed with a photographic memory; he says it's just that he remembers details that other people don't notice, for example, someone's name on their nametag or which side they part their hair on. He is witness to a crime in the alley and sees the assailant escaping. He is able to convince the police sketch artist that he can sketch the perp's likeness. When Eddie takes up the charcoal pencil, he draws the likeness of a known art thief the cops have been trying to bust.
Eddie and his father are offered a deal. Eddie can hang around art galleries and watch people using his particular skills to see if anything or anyone seems "off." His father will pretend to be a tourist but be within sight at all times. Eddie will be paid minimum wage for his hours, but if they crack the stolen art case, his expensive private school tuition will be paid by the police department.
Eddie meets Detective Bovano who is not exactly a warm and fuzzy person. Bovano doesn't want to work with a kid--even a genius like Eddie. Bovano has great fun in constantly calling Edmund by the wrong name "Eddie" and adds the "Red" himself. "Eddie" doesn't really seem to mind as long as he can earn the tuition to stay in school with his best nerd friend Jonah.
Surveillance heats up and Eddie is in danger. The art ring is out for a big heist and it's up to Eddie to figure out the puzzle. The ringleader has a thing for puzzles and Eddie (with Jonah's help) is up to the challenge of breaking the code.
Highly, highly recommended for any mystery fan! Great fun, great story, great character!
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
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