Pros: Great suspense, mystery, characters
The Bottom Line:
Nail biting suspense
Even when I reread it
Everyone will love
Nail Biting Suspense for Kids
When you pick up an Accidental Detectives Mystery, you know what you will get, great characters and an intriguing mystery. But Madness At Moonshiner's Bay offers something a little extra, heart bumping suspense.
As always, the book revolves around twelve year old Ricky Kidd and his friends and family. This time around, they are off to Disney World. While on the plane, Ricky's six year old brother, Joel, manages to become friends with the giant of a man sitting next to him. When the man is arrested as soon as they land, the Accidental Detectives learn that he's an ex-con, returning home from prison for murder. The next day, Ricky, Joel, and Ricky's friend Lisa are kidnapped and taken to a small island in a swamp. Guarded by an alligator, they must figure out what their captors want and find a way to escape. Can they do it?
When I sat down to reread this book, I had forgotten much of the story. As a result I can tell you that it gets your heart racing twice. Now keep in mind, the books are narrated first person. So if you stop and think about it, you at least know that Ricky will make it out alive. And yet, here I was, a grown man, racing through a kid's book to find out if he would survive. And not only that, but I was holding my breath at one point so I wouldn't attract any extra attention to Ricky. When I realized what I was doing, I definitely felt foolish, but there you have it.
And no, this isn't just about the suspense. The mystery is good, too. As is always the case, there are several unexpected twists and well planted clues that it is easy to miss. The climax is as logical as it is suspenseful.
And the characters are still great. While series regulars Mike and Ralphy (and Ricky's parents) are along for the ride, this book focuses most on Ricky, Lisa, and Joel. Even so, all the characters are memorable no matter how small a part they have. And that applies to the new characters as much as the returning characters.
Tying it all together is the writing. There are many short chapters. The writing level is appropriate for the target audience of 8-14 year olds. They (and any adult) will find it easy to fly through the pages and reach the ending all too quickly.
Madness At Moonshiner's Bay will please any fan of action and suspense, be they in the target audience or not. If that's you, get a copy of this book today.
Then plan on reading the rest of the Accidental Detectives Mysteries in order.