Friday, August 2, 2013

Agent Amelia: Ghost Diamond by Michael Broad

This is a collection of three short stories, or cases, solved by Agent Amelia. At first, I was expecting it to be either a mystery series or a silly fiction series (Amelia thinks she's an agent, everybody knows she's not, people she follows turn out to be ordinary, etc.) But it's...not.

In her first case, Amelia is going on a field trip and she suspects her teacher of wanting to steal the Ghost Diamond, which she could use to control the world. In her second case, cats are mysteriously disappearing all over the neighborhood and she suspects something nefarious is afoot. But how can villains be using cats to control the world? In her third case, Amelia is sure something strange is going on at the garden center - and she's right! But not only will she have to save the world, yet again, from a mad villain she'll also have to deal with her own nemesis, snooty Trudy Hart.

There's a light mixture of fun and mystery in these - the villains are over the top caricatures and Amelia has a lively, geeky, determination to pursue her chosen avocation no matter what people think of her. It seems like a long time since I've seen a chapter book with a protagonist like Amelia where the mysteries were actually real, not just all in her head, and I think kids would really enjoy it.

Verdict: Funny, mysterious, and with just enough peril to thrill intermediate readers ready for longer chapters. This would make a fun addition to any collection, especially if you have a lot of young mystery/spy fans.

ISBN: 9780761380566; Published 2011 by Darby Creek/Lerner; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's order list

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