The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly: #1) – Lena Jones

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agathaoddly

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780008211837

ISBN 10: 0008211833

Imprint: HarperCollins – GB

June 2018

List Price: 14.99 AUD

Here’s a brilliant new girl detective series for all your lovers of this ever popular genre and this one is for slightly older girls. How can anyone resist someone named after the Queen of detective fiction herself? Agatha Oddlow is thirteen years old and her mother raised her on a steady diet of detective novels, logic and puzzles before she died. Agatha lives with her dad, who is head warden at Hyde Park gardens, in a quaint cottage in the grounds of the garden. They are managing on their own pretty well though Agatha is less than impressed with posh school St Regis, to which she won a scholarship.  She is far more interested in pursuing mysteries, real or imagined, often to the detriment of her school behaviour.  Along with her best friend Liam Lau,  Oddlow Investigations maintains that ‘no case is too odd’ for their sleuthing partnership and Agatha’s many imaginary conversations with her hero, Hercule Poirot, convince her that she is exactly the right type to be a detective.

So clearly when she witnesses a hit-and-run in Hyde Park which is swiftly followed by a terrible disaster with London’s water supply, Agatha is thrilled that her biggest chance yet has appeared. The thick red sludge which has usurped London’s fresh water supply appears to be a problem with no solution. Certainly it has the scientists baffled. But Agatha is determined to get to the bottom of the issue as she begins to connect the dots of the hit-and-run victim, a boastful business magnate who just happens to be launching a water purification venture, a strange key left behind by her mum and some very mysterious tunnels underneath London, where she just happens to discover her mother’s bicycle – the one which her mum was supposedly riding when she was struck by a car and killed.

This is loads of fun and has the many twists and turns that young readers will relish. I look forward to the subsequent episodes which are apparently on their way to us.

Thoroughly recommended for would-be detectives from around ten years upwards.

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