Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin

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Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Set firmly in the great tradition of Ruby Redfort and Hermione Granger, our heroine is brave and resourceful, and also very, very smart. Helped (or is it hindered?) by her classmates Sammy and Kevin, Alice sets her formidable mind to work on the mystery of the missing scientist. Gripping stuff!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781910002865

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She's a bit of a loner, and she'd definitely prefer to work on proving an obscure theorem or two than spend time with the rest of her class. Still, the fact remains that Alice is rocket-science brainy, she's as determined as a hungry chimp in a banana shop, and she has the dry droll wit of the old fedora-wearing gumshoes of yesteryear. Look out bad guys, there's a new detective in town, and she won't give up till you're sporting a shiny pair of regulation handcuffs.

Clearly Alice gets her nose for mysteries and her dogged single-mindedness from her dad, an investigative journalist: once he's on the scent of a story, he's blind and deaf to everything else. Not necessarily the best upbringing for a young girl, you might say, but Alice has adapted, especially as the alternative is a life of shopping, theatre and more shopping with Mum. She's already got a bit of a reputation for solving small problems round school, so when her classmate Sammy Delgado, who hero-worships her, needs help with something decidedly more serious, it's Alice he turns to. He may be small and clumsy, but he won't take no for an answer, and Alice soon finds her summer holidays are not to be spent in the local library as she had hoped, but chasing up clues about the strange disappearance of a scientist from Delgado Industries. The man was on the brink of announcing a discovery of life-changing proportions, so obviously the number of powerful people who might want to kidnap him is longer than the average arm, but that's not what daunts Alice: it's the fact that her nemesis, spit-ball champion Kevin Jordan, insists on tagging along as she gathers data. There's plenty of danger, and a few heart-stopping moments as Kevin and Alice hunt for the truth, but there's fun too, and it's all within the bounds of possibility: no Sherlock leaps of intuition and bizarre solutions here. Parents who notice their beloved offspring sizing up magnifying glasses and fingerprint kits in shop windows may want to keep a very close eye on them!

There have been some excellent stories written recently about young detectives. If you enjoy books set in the past, try the brilliant Murder Most Unladylike (Wells & Wong Mystery 1) by Robin Stevens and its sequel, Arsenic For Tea about two schoolfriends in the 1930s. And if you feel like plunging a couple of decades further back, try The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine. Of course, you may prefer your stories to be bang up to date, in which case go for the Laura Marlin Mysteries, beginning with Dead Man's Cove. Other good yarns in the same series include Kidnap in the Caribbean, Kentucky Thriller and Rendezvous in Russia. That should be enough to keep even the brightest of readers out of mischief for quite some time!

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Buy Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin at


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