Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s
RRP – $15.99
The increasingly popular nerdy detective, Friday Barnes, makes her fourth appearance in this latest instalment filled with even more mayhem and mysteries.
To begin with Friday is rather surprisingly deported to Switzerland for lack of proper citizenship documents. Not surprisingly this is because her irritatingly vague but brilliant scientist parents failed to take care of such a trifle after her birth in Switzerland twelve years before.
While Friday spends three weeks productively in the Zurich airport transit lounge as the tangle of her actual citizenship is resolved, Highcrest Academy dissolves into utter chaos – of course!
The intrepid girl detective arrives back to find the school in an uproar of anarchy following the apparent mass dismissal of all the staff. With no teachers (no matter how incompetent) to supervise the students are running amok and it appears that Friday’s arch-nemesis but sometimes friend Ian Wainscott is responsible.
When the letters are shown to be a forgery and seemingly by the hand of Ian, he loses his scholarship place at the academy and is relegated to a nearby state school.
However that is far from the end of the catastrophes. How can a whole class set of maths text books disappear in just fifteen minutes? Who on earth would deliberately poison the students’ favourite beef stroganoff? And why would the most disliked boy in school have all his furniture removed? These and the arrival of a particularly unpleasant new Vice Principal are all problems which are simply grist to Friday’s mill.
It is no wonder this series is growing so rapidly in its readership as the favourite characters prove again and again how entertaining they are. Not least is Friday’s endearing personality which fluctuates between her sheer genius intelligence to bewildered gauche geek with the regularity of a pendulum.
Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years up who enjoy a fun mystery with some crazy antics.