Wednesday, February 8, 2017

REVIEW: The Best Mistake Mystery

The Best Mistake Mystery

Author: Sylvia McNicoll

The fantastic cover art for this book is what first made me want to read The Best Mistake Mystery. Bright, colorful and interesting, the cover pulled me in and got me started on the tale of Stephen Nobel, middle schooler and overly anxious dog walker extraordinaire. As I got into the story, the funny, sweet and anxious main character kept me reading until the end.

Prone to being anxious about most everything, Stephen counts the mistakes he makes each day. His inherent need to analyze all things around him has a calming effect on him. He also takes pride in his dog walking skills. But, unfortunately, one day his observational habits, pro dog walking skills and mistakes all meet up to create quite a problem. Someone commits a crime at Stephen's school and thinks Stephen can identify them, so they kidnap his two favorite dog walking buddies, Ping and Pong. A friend's brother is accused of the crime. So not only is Stephen working to clear his friend's brother, but he's searching for the evil dognappers too.

This book was such a funny, sweet and enjoyable read. The story is told from Stephen's point of view so you feel the anxiety with him as he goes down the list of his daily mistakes and the consequences.

The mystery is simple but engaging and not overly obvious. Stephen is a humorous, sweet main character who stays on the case to help his friends, both human and canine. I've read a lot of middle grade mystery books and this one was totally creative and fun. Stephen definitely was  having an unusual week at school -- exploding backpacks, VWs driving into the school building, making friends with a girl, threatening text messages and dognapping. My 5th grader agrees. I asked him to read the first two chapters and let me know what he thought. I have yet to get my kindle back. He is reading the whole book!

The book is a perfect middle grade length in my opinion - about 160 pages. My son is a slow reader, so it's a perfect length for him to read comfortably over a couple of days. Obviously the book appeals to 9-12 year olds, if my son's total immersion in the story since he absconded with my Kindle this morning is any indication.

This book will be available from Dundurn in March 2017.

Sylvia McNicoll is the author of several YA and middle grade books. Learn more about her books on her website

**I voluntarily read an Advance Readers Copy of this book from Dundurn via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

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