The first in a series of books about wanna-be detective, Dorothy Constance Mae Louise, better known as Dot.
Dot has some big changes going on in her life. She has just moved into a new home with her mum, twins Alf and Maisy, and loveable pet dog Mclusky. Dot is really excited at starting at a new school and is keen to make friends. When class teacher, Mr. Dickens, announces there will be a talent show, all the children are excited. But some children seem a little too keen to win and it appears that they will go to any lengths to ensure that they do, including sabotaging another child’s act. Puzzle-solver and Fred Fantastic Ace Detective loving Dot can not stand for this and so sets about solving exactly what is going on. But with time running out can she and new best friend Beans unravel the mystery before the curtain rises and it’s showtime…
Dotty Detective is a lovely and gentle introduction to the mystery solving genre. The couple of young super sleuths are a delight and their efforts to solve the mystery and hopefully save Amy’s performance are genuine and heartfelt. Despite falling for a few red-herrings, Dot is a great character who embodies resilience, determination and the importance of never giving up. With a relatable setting and a problem that could easily happen, readers will find themselves in familiar and comfortable territory. Messages on friendship, helping others, being kind and the challenges of settling into new environments are all explored within the story.
Written in the style of a diary with daily entries where Dot talks about her day, the book genuinely feels as though it has been created by a young girl. Each extract is light-hearted and perfectly captures the life of a child who is dealing with settling at a new home, at a new school and trying to solve a mystery. As you would expect with a diary there are lots of stuck-in photos, illustrations and random doodlings including cupcakes, stars and ducks and it is all a great deal of fun.
Recommended for 7+.