#863: Minor Felonies – Premeditated Myrtle (2020) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

On page 110 of 355 of Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Premeditated Myrtle (2020) we learn that 12 year-old Myrtle Hardcastle starts reading novels in the middle because “beginnings were often boring”. Thankfully the unproved murder on which the entire book to that point has hung is finally suspected a few pages later and the book comes to life at last, but there’s an uncomfortably meta air to the criticism at the time.

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#857: Minor Felonies – The Secret Detectives (2021) by Ella Risbridger

While far from his best work, The Blind Barber (1934) by John Dickson Carr does contain the brilliant problem of a corpse appearing on a passenger liner mid-voyage with no passenger or crew member apparently having died to provide it. Ella Risbridger’s juvenile mystery debut The Secret Detectives (2021) works from the same principle, with 11 year-old Isobel Petty seeing someone thrown overboard one stormy night…and yet the next morning no-one is missing.

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#829: Minor Felonies – Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano (2020) by Marthe Jocelyn

Where does Inspiration stop and Creativity, or its bastard twin Plagiarism, begin? This question is too deep for a review of a book aimed at 12 year-olds — and, indeed, for this blog in general — but it lingers around the edge of a lot of fiction simply because of the number of times recognisable real life events have been folded into entertainment (or, indeed, vice versa).

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#820: Minor Felonies – The Goldfish Boy (2017) by Lisa Thompson

After a couple of attempts reading mysteries for older younger readers a few months ago, I think I’m happy that my niche is to be found in stories probably aimed at 12 year-olds — older than that, hormones get involved and there’s as much time spent swooning over someone as there is trying to solve all the, y’know, murders happening at their elite private school.

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