Today I am delighted to share with you, ‘The Key to Finding Jack,’ by Ewa Jozefkowicz, illustrated by Katy Riddell. Regular readers of the blog will know I’m a huge fan of mystery stories so was drawn to this book when I heard about it and it completely surprised me by being totally unexpected with the problem that had to be solved. Flick’s big brother Jack has gone missing in Peru after an earthquake devastates the region he’s in nobody is able to locate him. Seeking solace in his room, Flick find a small key with a note attached for a mysterious figure, ‘S.F.’ Who is S,F and could they hold the key to finding the truth about where Jack has gone to on his travels? Flick discovers on her search for the truth that Jack is more than just the family prankster, in fact he has so many layers to himself that he’s kept hidden from his family. I was absolutely struck by just how much I loved this book, for this is much more than a story about a missing boy and a strange key. It’s a story of family, friendship and finding your place in the world even when others don’t approve. Brimming with warmth and filled with heart, it is a joyful and life affirming tale that entirely charmed me.
To celebrate the release of this wonderful book, I have a special guest post from Ewa on her favourite mystery books…
My Top 5 Mystery Books – Ewa Jozefkowicz
The Key to Finding Jack is the story of Flick, whose brother Jack has gone missing during an earthquake in Peru, where he was travelling during his gap year. In London, Flick finds a key which he used to wear around his neck. Next to it is a note with the words ‘For S.F. to keep until I’m back.’ Who is S.F.? And can they help solve the mystery of his location? Flick makes it her mission to find out.
The search takes her on a journey of discovery about Jack. It begins with her making a list of all the S.Fs that Jack knew, followed by carefully scheduled visits to each of them. And so, Flick meets with an eclectic bunch of people who share these initials, from her own grandmother, through Jack’s music teacher and the owner of the corner shop at which her brother used to work. Every visit reveals something about her brother which she never knew, and she slowly pieces together what proves to be an unexpected puzzle.
I really enjoyed writing this story, as I’m a big fan of mysteries with their step-by-step unravelling of clues, false leads, and twists and turns in the plot. I have enjoyed and been inspired by many children’s mystery stories. Here are five of my favourites:
The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd
This is a fantastic story of Salim who seemingly disappears while travelling on the London Eye. His cousins overcome their differences to try and follow clues across the city which might lead them to Salim.
Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson
Dustbin Baby is centred on April, who, as a baby, was abandoned in a dustbin by her mother and who goes on a journey to try to piece together her past.
Skellig – David Almond
This is the beautiful tale of a boy who finds an angel-like creature living in his garage and attempts to solve the mystery of who Skellig is and how to set him free.
The Girl Who Thought Her Mother Was a Mermaid – Tanya Unsworth
Here, the memorable main heroine Stella, is convinced her mother is a mermaid and decides to find out once and for all whether she’s right.
Emil and the Detectives – Eric Kastner
A great detective story set in 1920s Berlin, which has stood the test of time. Emil’s money is stolen during a train journey, which leads to a lengthy and exciting investigation into the identity of the thief.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews.
Thank you to Fritha and Zephyr Books for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a gifted copy of the book. ‘The Key to Finding Jack,’ is available to buy now online and from any good bookshop. If you can please support your local independent bookshop you can find the nearest one here.