Image © Eoin Colfer, cover art © Mark Riedy.
I read the first of the “Artemis Fowl” books by this author. I liked it pretty well, but not enough to want more. This title caught my eye at a book sale, and the back cover copy intrigued me enough to make the sale.
The story takes place in contemporary Ireland, though there are not a lot of clues to the location, my first impression was that the locale was somewhere in the US. It’s a high-school setting, where Fletcher Moon is a misfit kid whose passion is detective work, something most of the other kids make fun of, though he has had some small jobs come his way. Fletcher’s prize possession is the official detective badge earned through an online correspondence school, making him the youngest to get that iconic piece of metal. When a classmate hires him to locate a missing item, evidence points toward the notorious Sharkey family, several members of which go to Fletcher’s school. Confronting the Sharkeys is dangerous, but Fletcher manages to get information from Red Sharkey that actually points to a much bigger crime conspiracy than even the Sharkeys seem capable of. Before long Red and Fletcher are uneasy partners trying to find out what’s really going on in their small town.
I found this an excellent mystery for younger readers. No murders, but plenty of excitement and danger, and a very clever plot. Fine characters, with insights into human nature vital to any good detective story, and enough surprises to keep everything rolling along nicely. It seems ripe for a series, but this is the only one out so far. A TV series based on the book came out in Great Britain.