Jonno’s just moved to his new school and suddenly his PE teacher has been murdered… and he and young carer Daniel have found the body! Teaming up with nosy newspaper reporter Lydia, the trio are determined to crack this case. But are each of their motives for solving the investigation genuine?
Opening this gorgeous package containing The Detention Detectives was such a treat and as I’ve been a massive fan of whodunnit since a child, this plot was right up my street. There’s some terrific middle grade murder mysteries out there (from Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series to Sharna Jackson’s High Rise Mystery and Murder on the Safari Star by Sam Sedgman and MG Leonard) and The Detention Detectives is destined to become as iconic as these titles. It is sure to start 2023 with a bang as we follow Jonno starting a new school but discovering the body of one of his teachers. As he schemes to use this opportunity to get what he wants, he teams up with Daniel, who also has his own reasons for solving this crime. Coupled with investigative reporter Lydia, there are an intriguing trio.
This is such a thrilling, nerve-wracking whodunnit from debut author Lis Jardine and I can’t wait to see where this series goes. She has a unique voice which really sets this book apart from those currently on the shelves – I particularly liked the footnotes relating to Star Trek and classic whodunnit shows and these were really engaging for adults as much as children. Like classic whodunnits, there’s red herrings aplenty and a terrific ending, which is equally frustrating as I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2 (due out January 2024).
Suggested reading age: 9+
The Detention Detectives is written by Lis Jardine and will be published by Puffin in January 2023. You can preorder your copy here (and I strongly recommend you do!).