Title: Mystery & Mayhem (Crime Club)
Written by: Caroline Lawrence, Clementine Beauvais, Elen Caldecott, Frances Hardinge, Harriet Whitehorn, Helen Moss, Julia Golding, Kate Pankhurst, Katherine Woodfine, Robin Stevens, Sally Nicholls and Susie Day.
Published by: Egmont
This innovative crime compilation is aimed at the 8-12 age range and jam-packed with big name authors. The book contains twelve deliciously, intriguing short stories by twelve renowned children’s book writers all under one cover. There are four sections each containing three mysteries to solve: impossible mysteries, canine capers, poison plots and closed-system crimes.
The featured Mystery & Mayhem (Crime Club) authors in order of appearance are: Susie Day, Elen Caldecott, Clementine Beauvais, Caroline Lawrence, Julia Golding, Kate Pankhurst, Frances Hardinge, Helen Moss, Harriet Whitehorn, Sally Nicholls, Katherine Woodfine (who has also written the introduction) and Robin Stevens.
The dastardly crime stories include murder, mayhem, poison and plot, dognapping, safe-breaking, sabotage and biscuits. Only the intrepid young detectives – and the reader – can crack the cases to save the day.
Each story is succinctly written so the reader can experience the satisfaction of putting together clues, unravelling evidence and solving cleverly designed puzzles to crack each case and discover exactly what happened and why. They are all a great read and I could not possibly pick a favourite, but I particularly enjoyed how Susie Day’s character Emily is the one to solve the crime despite the effort of the adults and similarly with Jamie Kahn in Robin Steven’s story. Both these main characters outwit the adults.
I think children will enjoy these excellent crime stories and it will encourage them to seek out more books by their favourite authors. It is good to see the crime genre hit the mid-grade shelves.
This book review was previously published on the online Armadillo Children’s Book Review Magazine.