Saturday, January 16, 2016

ARC Review: Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R. A. Spratt

Friday Barnes Girl Detective
Author: R. A. Spratt
Publication: Roaring Brook Press (January 19, 2016)

Description: Imagine if Sherlock Holmes was an eleven-year-old girl!

When Friday Barnes, girl genius, solves a bank robbery, she uses the reward money to send herself to Highcrest Academy, the most exclusive boarding school in the country―and discovers it's a hotbed of crime!

Soon she's investigating everything from disappearing homework to the terrifying Yeti haunting the school swamp. But the biggest mystery yet is Ian Wainscott, the handsomest (and most arrogant) boy in school who inexplicably hates her. Will the homework be found? Can they ever track down the Yeti? And why is Ian out to ruin her?

With black-and-white art throughout, Friday Barnes, Girl Detective is the launch of an exciting new mystery series Kirkus calls, "Delightful, highly logical, and well-informed fun."

My Thoughts: Friday Barnes is an eleven-year-old genius who has more or less raised herself since she was the family afterthought and her parents were too busy being academics to pay any attention to her. She has read her parents' multi-thousand volume library and spends her time in school reading detective stories.

Her only friend is her uncle Bernie who works as an investigator for an insurance company. He spends every Thursday evening with Friday. One week his is troubled about a case at work which Friday offers to solve for him. Once she does, and collects the substantial reward, she decides to attend the most prestigious boarding school available.

Friday finally makes a friend in her new roommate Melanie and begins solving problems around the school. She searches for things ranging from missing homework to the mysterious Yeti haunting the school swamp. She is teased by the in-crowd of schools and pranked by the student who previously had the school's high IQ but nothing stops Friday's investigations or her wry comments an the actions of others.

This was a fun story to read. I loved Friday's observations on other people and their motives. All of the characters were more caricatures than realistic people with their eccentricities spotlighted. I can't wait to read the sequels and follow more of Friday's adventures. The cliffhanger ending makes me especially eager for the next book.

Favorite Quote:
But the problem is that when you devote your entire time to going unnoticed by your parents, that talent seeps over into every other aspect of your life. Friday went unnoticed at school, on the bus, and at shops as well.
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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