‘Mystery and Mayhem’ is a delightful anthology of 12 stories from some of our finest authors who also happen to be huge fans of crime fiction. The ‘Crime Club’ line up consists of Katherine Woodfine, Clementine Beauvais, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Harriet Whitehorn and Robin Stevens. Prepare yourself for tales of murder, mayhem, poison, dognapping, safe-breaking, sabotage and biscuits. Only you, the reader and the intrepid young detectives in the story can crack the cases and save the day. Although I’m hoping you’re more successful than me I only managed to uncover the dastardly wrong-doer in one of the stories. I feel my chances of gaining entry to the Crime Club are seriously unlikely. However this didn’t stop me being totally enthralled and entertained by these seemly impossible to unravel puzzles.
This fantastic book features a real mix of contemporary and historical crime stories taking us on a journey through many eras but what they all have in common is bright young detectives who can spot the clues that manage to evade the adults who are supposedly solving the crimes. I enjoyed meeting characters that I was familiar with in the stories from Katherine Woodfine, Elen Caldecott and Julia Golding. For readers who are new to these it provides an excellent teaser to entice and encourage them to try new authors, allowing themselves an insight into new worlds which they can go on to discover in the future. It was intriguing to read the stories where the author was writing in a totally different style and setting to their current body of work. Robin Stevens, who in ‘The Mystery of Room 12’ is a contemporary story in contrast to the Murder Most Unladylike series, the detective now has the internet to help track down and identify the likely suspect. A totally different perspective than in Daisy and Hazel’s world. Harriet Whitehorn creates a historical setting in ‘The Murder of Monsieur Pierre’ which enchanted me in the same way as the glorious ‘Violet’ books. It was fascinating to see some of my favourite authors introducing us to new characters and worlds with a hopeful wish that there is more to come.
Assembling the stories into collections of the ‘Impossible Mysteries’, ‘Canine Caper’. ‘Poison Plots’ and ‘Closed- System Crimes’ provides perfect training for a would be young sleuths mind building their knowledge to help find them uncover the truth. If you know a child that loves mysteries then you need to buy this book. I already have a list of children at school who are eager to read and I will be telling them just how brilliantly entertaining it is.
Thank you to Egmont for sending me a copy of this book to review.