Review: The Mystery of the Vanishing Skeleton, by Helen Moss

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What it’s about: The small Cornish town of Castle Key is suddenly hit by a number of minor crimes but the perpetrator appears to be less than human – it’s a skeleton! Crime-solving trio Jack, Scott and Emily, aided by Drift the dog, set about trying to solve who or what is behind the spate of occurrences in the sixth book of the ‘The Mystery of the…’ series by Helen Moss.

Holly’s review: I liked this book because it is amusing and adventurous, because of the little jokes Helen Moss puts in and also because the children have to discover who is behind a glowing skeleton mystery. The story is about a girl and two boys who meet together and have all these adventures. I would definitely recommend this to people who love mysteries. This book also includes a sticker on it saying ‘if you like Enid Blyton you’ll love this’. I don’t believe that this is true because to me it’s more like a Scooby Doo mystery.

Sam’s review: I ordered this book from our local library as I saw it recommended for fans of Enid Blyton. While the structure is similar – the children are sent away during their holidays because their parents are too busy to look after them, and then they fall into a series of adventures and mysteries, along with a dog – I also agree with Holly in that they aren’t quite like Enid Blyton in the way in which the characters are drawn. The two boys are of course more familiar to modern audiences in their tastes and attitudes, but they can be irritating at times when they are doing their ‘moody teenager’ bit. Or maybe that’s just the grumpy adult reader in me! Holly also remarked to me that, while she liked the books, she felt the author was trying a little too hard to make the kids sound cool, to the extent that they actually didn’t. I guess this is always a danger when you try to write adolescents from an adult perspective. That said, Holly galloped through this book and is now reading the first in the series, so she must be enjoying them! I am happy reading them with her too. The plot moves at a quick pace, the boys are a little stereotypical in portrayal but are differentiated from each other and the mysteries are exciting enough without being too scary. I expect we will be reading more of the same very soon!




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