The Great Cat Conspiracy by Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw
|The Great Cat Conspiracy by Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Another brilliant entry to this series, with every book disguised as an animal-based crime to be solved by our young heroines, but offering so, so much more.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: February 2011|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books|
Meet the new cat. A vicious thing, it's fond of having a go at any passing human feet, and is even able to stand its ground against the neighbourhood dogs. It also has a great habit of making a mess with its kills, which comes to a head (literally) when the front end of what was the vicar's prize carp ends up on Tom's pillow. After that the cat vanishes. Has it finally met a match? Has it been catnapped - and if so, who is seeking revenge by doing so?
This third brilliant investigation for Tom's sister Anna and their friend Suzanne is another first class read by Mrs Alan Davies. It's full as usual of dictionary quotes, secret plans and diagrams, and lists of how to go about solving the case. The adults make their charming reappearances too, and we're on firmly familiar ground.
There is still something uncanny about how brilliant these books are. What sets out as a witty, warm, animal-based 'crime' turns subtly and deftly into a superlative story about something else. It's the easiest way to introduce themes of friendship and society into a fabulous narrative without anyone really noticing the join. I won't say what this book ends up being about, but the way it is introduced into the story through a portrayal of Anna's day-to-day life would have authors of 'adult' books green with envy.
Finally it is that evocation of Anna's world that is supreme yet again. You can't hope to better the style she's written with, so convincingly full of sentences starting with 'And...' And instances of Tom eating all the biscuits. And being a perfect kid brother. This allows for great depths of character, comic timing and a lot more, and Anna's notebooks are excellent in sounding so honest, so young, so effortlessly crafted.
I love this series, even if I couldn't give the second one the full five stars. It's warm throughout, engaging and surprising, and puts many adult books to shame in succeeding in doing what it sets out to do. If children and adults nationwide disagree with me then it might seriously make me think of emigrating.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The series started with The Great Hamster Massacre.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Great Cat Conspiracy by Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Great Cat Conspiracy by Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.