A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery, Book 2
by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Algonguin Young Readers
Available October 6, 2020
Myrtle dreads going on an excursion with her overbearing Aunt Helena and governess Miss Judson while Father is away in Paris with a forensic science symposium. Her dad wants her far away from the gossip and newspapers about the murder she helped solve. It's embarrassing enough a twelve-year old child showed up the police, but a meddlesome GIRL!
Myrtle sets off with her governess Miss Judson, cat Peony, pushy Aunt Helena and her aunt's traveling companion (maid) Miss Highsmith. They board a fancy new train: The Empress Express to travel to the seashore. Myrtle dreads the trip, the luggage, her bathing dress, the terrible, foppish hat she's forced to wear as part of her raveling ensemble. She can't stand being imprisoned on a train with her obnoxious aunt, but one thing's for sure! Myrtle doesn't miss anything. Not even the tiniest clue.
As the train gets underway, dinner is served. After dinner, the ladies and men retire to their separate lounges. The train owner's daughter shows the ladies a fabulous tiara valued at over five thousand dollars. Suddenly, the lights go out, there is confusion, and when the lights come back on, the tiara is gone! Myrtle is thrilled to follow clues to find the thief and soon partners with insurance investigator, Mrs. Bloom.
When Mrs. Blooms fails to show up at breakfast the next morning, Myrtle is concerned. She goes by her cabin and finds no one has slept there. Worried now, Myrtle takes Mrs. Bloom's bag with her notes and papers. As the porters begin offloading baggage, a body is found. It's Mrs. Bloom! Myrtle is horrified her new friend has been murdered and even more horrified when the constable arrests her Aunt Helena whose shears were the murder weapon.
Myrtle and her governess set out to solve the murder, the theft and possible insurance fraud. Myrtle is quick-witted, worldly, wise beyond her years, well-read in law, medicine, detection and forensic science. She is a fun main character readers will not forget, and fans of book one will love this second installment. The publisher recommends ages ten and up, but younger readers may not understand the terms of insurance, fraud, and the penalties of law.
Recommended grade 6 and up and fans of Premeditated Myrtle (book 1).