Brian Keaney's The Magical Detectives is set in the small town of Bridlington Chawleigh. Otto Spinoza's mother runs a bookshop. She is a terrible worrier, and the only thing that pacifies her is a packet of biscuits. One day she is worrying more than usual, and Otto pops to the shop to buy a packet. But when he gets back, she has disappeared, leaving a message HELP ME spelled out in magnetic letters on the fridge. What is Otto to do? On the community notice board in the shop he notices a card advertising the services of Maximillian Hawksmoor, Magical Detective Agency, and with Maximillian's services, and the accidental help of classmate Juliet Pennington and her cat Cornelius, he must travel through a magical portal in the grounds of a stately home to another world to rescue her.
This is the promising beginning of a series (I read and reviewed the second in the series for The Bookbag) and could be read and enjoyed by a confident reader of 7+. For children who like their mystery stories to have a touch of fantasy, magic and a few sherbert lemons, this would be a great, fun read. Brian is appearing at the Lewisham Literary Festival in September.
I would like to thank the Brian Keaney for sending me a copy of this book; however this review is my honest opinion.