Firstly, before you even think about reading this book, spend some time marvelling at the glorious cover art created by David Dean: it really sets the tone for a gorgeous story!
I was delighted when I heard that one of my absolute favourite authors, Robin Stevens, had been asked to write a sequel to The London Eye Mystery; a book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about 3 years ago. Robin has done a tremendous job of further developing the characters of Ted Spark, his sister Kat, their parents, their cousin Salim and Aunt Gloria. The family relationships are utterly believable and are consistent with the original book.
This time the action is set in New York, where Ted, Kat and their Mum have gone to visit Salim and Gloria as their aunt is now a Curator at the Guggenheim Museum, and is involved in her first exhibition of paintings. I don’t know if it is because Robin is American, or a tremendously talented author, or a combination of the two – but she certainly made New York city come alive so that I could hear the commotion, smell the street smells and get immersed in the frantic bustle of the place. If you have read The London Eye Mystery you will know that Ted’s brain is wired differently to most, and his unique reaction to being in the city that never sleeps is brilliantly described.
Not wishing to give away any plot spoilers I won’t go into details about the story, but when a priceless painting goes missing from the museum Ted has to use all his ingenuity to solve the crime. Kat and Salim prove to be an effective team with Ted, and together they outwit the adults by picking up on clues that others have dismissed.
I think that Robin Stevens has cemented her place as one of the most talented current writers of mystery books, the verve and skill with which she writes make her stories utterly enjoyable reads. If you are a huge fan of Robin’s Murder Most Unladylike series or a fan of the mystery genre, I’m sure you’ll love this book. Although you can read this a stand alone novel, if you like the characters in the story I would highly recommend that you read The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd as well.
In short, this is a fantastic book – read it!
One more great reason to buy this book is that I noticed some of the royalties are donated to The Siobhan Dowd Trust which provides funds for bringing books to under-privileged children, a really important cause.