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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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28 / 51 states. 55% done!

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23 / 50 books. 46% done!

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26 / 100 books. 26% done!

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64 / 104 books. 62% done!

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43 / 52 books. 83% done!

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69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Friday, July 23, 2021

MG Murder Mystery A Delightful, Entertaining Romp

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Young Ladies of Quality do not snoop.  Nor do they spy on their neighbors.  Or study masculine subjects like science, law, and forensics.  And they certainly do not express a morbid interest in something as vulgar as murder.  In fact—in the opinion of 12-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle—Young Ladies of Quality do not do anything of interest.  Why would she want to be one of them?  Although "Morbid Myrtle" is shunned by the other girls, she's not about to give up reading her father's law books and peering through her late mother's microscope.  Everyone else might despair of her antics, but Myrtle knows she will be far happier pursuing her unique studies than sipping tea in a frilly dress in someone's stifling parlor.

When Myrtle's 79-year-old neighbor, a cross old woman who grew prize-winning flowers, is found dead in her sprawling home, no one thinks much about it.  Only Myrtle thinks there's something fishy about Minerva Wodehouse's death.  Then, relatives the dead woman never once mentioned start coming out of the woodwork with greed glinting in their eyes.  All of them are acting shifty, which just confirms Myrtle's suspicions—Mrs. Wodehouse was murdered!  Since no one takes her accusations and observations seriously, the young sleuth knows it's up to her to bring Minerva's killer to justice.  Can Myrtle solve the mystery?  Is there even a case to investigate, or is Myrtle letting her imagination run amok once again?

I listened to Premeditated Myrtle, the first book in Elizabeth C. Bunce's Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series, on audio and was totally charmed by the experience!  Myrtle is a delightful heroine.  Not only is she whip smart, but she's also perpetually curious and dangerously impulsive, two traits that get her into scrape after scrape.  Her warm relationship with her faithful governess, Ada Judson, is one of the loveliest parts of the novel.  The plot is also exciting, with plenty of twists to keep the reader/listener engaged.  Bethan Rose Young does an excellent job with the audiobook narration, which makes the story come alive even more.  Needless to say, I very much enjoyed this funny, entertaining, classic-feeling mystery novel.  I will absolutely be reading (or listening to) the sequels.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and scary scenes

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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