The Mummy Mystery
Review: Best friends Jerry and Maya run a small detective agency in their home town of Pleasant Valley. But business has been slow lately, and Maya is getting restless. When their local newspaper reports that a painting has been stolen from the museum, and the suspect is a thousand-year-old mummy, they rush to offer their services, in The Mummy Mystery, the fifth mystery in the Whodunit Detective Agency series for children by Martin Widmark, and illustrated by Helena Willis.
The museum director, Barbara Palmer, is quick to dismiss Jerry and Maya as too young and inexperienced to be of any use to her, but Jerry quickly changes her mind after hearing a quick summary of what happened. "Have you found the night watchman's cell phone yet?" he asks. It turns out this detail had not been reported and yet was, in fact, true: Mr. Long, the night watchman, had lost his phone. "I can see that you are keen observers," the director says, "and the police don't seem to be getting anywhere, anyway. Maybe you can find something they missed." It's certainly no mystery how the crime was committed, as there is security footage of a bandage-wrapped arm cutting the painting from its frame. But could the ancient mummy in the room really be a thief?
The storyline in The Mummy Mystery is basically an expanded version of a 2-minute mystery for adults, where a situation is described, known facts presented, and then the reader is left to deduce whodunit. And while it starts out promising, it doesn't end as strong as it could, using a process of elimination of suspects that is more obvious than clever. Young readers looking for a dynamic plot will likely be disappointed, but those who want to exercise their intellectual abilities will, if not be completely rewarded, at least be more than satisfied.
First published in Sweden in 2004, this English language edition of The Mummy Mystery is labeled by the publisher as recommended for readers aged 7 to 9. Its Lexile measure is 770L.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of The Mummy Mystery for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Mummy Mystery:
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The Mummy Mystery by Martin Widmark — The Whodunit Detective Agency
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Publication Date: May 2015
List Price: $13.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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