Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The London Eye Mystery

Dowd, Siobhan. 2008. THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375849763 [Suggested Grade Levels 4–7]

When Kat and Ted’s cousin Salim comes through London on the way to New York, the siblings are determined to show him the biggest, best Ferris wheel in the world, the London Eye. What starts out as a fun adventure turns into a family crisis when Salim fails to disembark from the ride and simply vanishes.

Kat and Ted end up as an unlikely detective duo given that their relationship is prickly at best. Kat spends her time skipping school and slamming doors, while Ted compulsively counts each bite of cereal he eats, and listens to the shipping forecast late at night when he can’t sleep. They bicker constantly and Kat is never one to mince words, “I’m sorry, Ted. You’re really good at thinking. But you’re no good at doing. If you come with me, you won’t be any use.” Ted on the other hand, comes up with many ways to describe Kat, “Katastrophe, Kataclysm, Katalogue of Disasters. Hurricane Katrina. Mean, mad, mad, mean Kat.”

When Salim disappears, they don’t exactly overcome their differences, but instead find ways to work together to find answers to the many questions – has Salim been kidnapped? Has he been hurt? Has he run away to avoid moving to New York? Kat’s impatience and Ted’s methodical thought process eventually allow them to put together the pieces of the puzzle and solve the mystery just in time to save Salim.

Have readers come up with a similar mystery plot based on their city. Where could someone disappear easily and what questions would be asked to track them down?

Other mystery novels:
Balliett, Blue. CHASING VERMEER. ISBN 9780743267274
Broach, Elise. SHAKESPEARE’S SECRET. ISBN 9780312371326

By Tammy Korns

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