Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club

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Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Do you ever ask yourself what happened to the characters after the end of a story? Or wonder what other thrilling plots your favourite author has rattling around in her head? Well, here's an answer for you – a profusion of excellent short stories, each involving a puzzle or a crime. Impossible to put down until you've solved the lot!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: May 2016
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781405282642

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There are days when all you want is to shut out the world and sink into the delights of a detailed full-length story, crammed to the covers with fascinating characters and plot twists. And then there are days when you require something shorter – a tale that's nonetheless richly colourful and exciting, a perfect jewel of a story that will stay for you for days afterwards. Well, luckily for you, the twelve members of The Crime Club provide both!

Keen readers will scan the front of this book and recognise the names: they're all experienced writers, some of them positively dripping with awards, who each have popular longer stories under their belt. Indeed, several of them have created whole series about the same group of people, set in places and times as various as Ancient Rome, today's East End, the Wild, Wild West and a department store. There's even a girls' boarding school in the 1930s with a worrying number of suspicious deaths: just as well OFSTED hadn't been invented then!

So, twelve mysteries, written by well-known authors, for you to try and solve before the plucky, resourceful heroes and heroines. Each detective is a young person, more quick-thinking, more observant and more willing to consider solutions than the adults around them. That isn't to say that grown-ups are made to look like idiots, though (well, not always): it's just that children are often overlooked or considered unimportant, so they are able to move about freely to uncover clues, and they're less likely to refuse an idea that seems at first glance improbable or ridiculous.

The variety contained in these pages is breath-taking. There are poisonings, dog-nappings and a good number of crimes that seem, at first glance, simply impossible to commit. You'll be whisked from contemporary Britain to the eighteenth century and to Victorian London. You'll find yourself in theatres, grand country houses and the American suburbs, and you'll discover enigmas and puzzles concerning pearls, pineapples, poisons and poodles (to employ just one letter of the alphabet). All the clues are there on the page, there's no cheating or actually-I-never-told-you-but, so you can set to and get to the solution before Emily, Minnie, Marcel and co, or you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. You'll laugh, you'll gasp with shock, you'll admire their cleverness (and your own!) and you'll occasionally grind your teeth as adults step in at the last minute and take all the credit. But most of all you'll have lots and lots of fun.

Readers will be happy to know that the authors who contributed to this anthology have published lots and lots of other books. It's hard to choose from all the excellent stories on offer, but Bookbag especially enjoyed The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini by Elen Caldecott, Pea's Book of Best Friends by Susie Day, Young Knights of the Round Table by Julia Golding, the multi-award winning The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, The P K Pinkerton Mysteries: The Case of the Good-looking Corpse by Caroline Lawrence, Secrets of the Tombs: The Phoenix Code by Helen Moss, Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls, The Disappearing Dinner Lady (Mariella Mystery) by Kate Pankhurst, Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn and Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens. Phew – that's a seriously massive amount of talent!

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Buy Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mystery and Mayhem by The Crime Club at


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