Mystery of the Hats
Review: Mystery of the Hats is Eddie Lay's first published book, and it is an admirable though imperfect effort. The target audience is the middle school reader and it is appropriately written at this level.
Following in the tradition of many young adult mysteries, the principal characters are two typical teenage girls, best friends, who talk endlessly about boys. Over the course of a couple of days, they discover hats from the 1920s that have mysteriously appeared in one of the girl's closet. They do the appropriate research at the library, conduct interviews, and ultimately uncover the mystery behind the hats.
Why do the hats mysteriously appear now as opposed to a year ago or even ten years ago? This question would seem to be fundamental to the story, but it remains unanswered at the end of the book. In addition, the apparition acts more like a plot convenience rather than an essential part of the story. Why bring in paranormal or supernatural elements when the book could easily have been written without them? Finally, the tangential subplots, some of which have no obvious purpose in the book, could have been more tightly integrated into the story.
Mystery of the Hats has an interesting story line and appealing characters, but it is merely average in the highly competitive young adult mystery genre.
Acknowledgment: Eddie Lay provided an ARC of Mystery of the Hats for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Mystery of the Hats:
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Mystery of the Hats by Eddie Lay
Publisher: Publish America
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2006
List Price: $12.95