The Artsy Mistake Mystery - Sylvia McNicoll
Outdoor art is disappearing all over the neighbourhood! From elaborate Halloween decorations to the Stream of Dreams fish display across the fence at Stephen and Renée’s school, it seems no art is safe. Renée’s brother, Attila, has been cursing those model fish since he first had to make them as part of his community service. So everyone thinks Attila is behind it when they disappear. But, grumpy teen though he is, Attila can do no wrong in Renée’s eyes, so she enlists Stephen’s help to catch the real criminal.
In this fast-paced comedy of errors, sometimes silly and sometimes serious mistakes are recorded in meticulous detail by our crime-solving narrator, Stephen. Together with his friend Renée, Stephen inadvertently becomes the primary investigator when Renées brother is considered to be the prime suspect in the theft of a series of painted fish that used to hang on the fence outside of a local school. As one miscommunication after another ends up leading them in the right direction (sort of), the two get to know each other a lot better as people, and Stephen learns that maybe Attila isn't as terrible as he thought.
The plot is quick and fun, and the character-building is impressive considering the brief page count. Young readers will find themselves quickly becoming engrossed in the mystery and hijinks of our intrepid investigators. Fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and other similar crime-solving books for middle grade audiences will find the Mistakes books a refreshing and enjoyable new series to follow.
(NOTE: This review is from an Advance Reading Copy - August 5, 2017)