Friday 22 June 2012

174. Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Drowning Man by Helen Moss

Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Drowning Man by Helen Moss
Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:
When Scott, Jack and Emily rescue a drowning man from the waves they are keen to hear his story, but their new friend can't remember his own name, let alone how he came to be stranded at sea! Who is the mystery man Why did he come to Castle Key And was his drowning an accident - or attempted murder The friends are on the case - with enthusiastic assistance from Drift the dog - determined to find the truth and solve the mystery of the drowning man.

I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon and Famous Five and while the shelves of children's fiction have been dominated by fantasy in the last few years, there has been little in the way of mysteries...until now.

Welcome to Adventure Island, otherwise known as Castle Key Island. This island is the full time home of Emily and her dog Drift, and the summer holiday home of Scott and Jack.

This is the eighth book in the series, but the really good thing is, these books do not need to be read in any particular order. There is reference to other mysteries in this book, but they are no way connected to this story.  All it might do is make the reader go back and read the earlier books, like, to find out what happened when they were marooned on Gulliver's Island last summer!

The covers were what attracted me to this series in the first place.  They have a real retro mystery feel. Even though the stories have a contemporary setting, the essence of the story is quite old fashioned.  Three children enjoying their holidays on a Cornish Island, swimming, exploring, having picnics and they always seem to find themselves involved in a mystery!

In this book they save a drowning man who seems to have lost his memory. Putting together the bits and pieces they do know, the three adventurers  not only find out who the man is, but also figure out who tried to kill him and why! Quite the achievement for 3 twelve and thirteen year olds.

There is also a really good website where you can read more about the books, the island, the characters blogs and you can even join the S.I.T (special investigations team).

Who will like this book: Boys and girls age 9+
Read it if you like: The Famous Five

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