A book that is full of warmth, charm and plenty of hugs (even if some of them are rather lumpy). Meet Maximilian - mollycoddled moggie and soon to be up to his whiskers in crime!
Pampered puss Maximilian is used to a life of splendour at Arlington Grove, spending his days sitting on velvet cushions, eating salmon souffle out of silver dishes and being fussed “at least six times a day,” by Countess Arlington. Following a calamitous mouse chase, Max finds himself on the gritty and grimy streets of London and seeks refuge at the Theatre Royal where he is able to put his mouse-catching talents to good use. When world renowned singer Madame Emerald arrives at the theatre and starts acting strangely, Max senses something is wrong - it is not a mouse that he smells this time, this time he smells a rat! Calling on all his cat skills - cunning, curiosity, and a big dose of newly discovered courage - Max is determined to solve the mystery of Madame Emerald. Why is her assistant petrified? Why does she only sing when she is locked in her room? And why are her cuddles so lumpy? It isn’t long before clean-cut Max finds himself in a world of crime and deception, leaping (tentatively) over London rooftops and eating a lot of sardines.
Max the Detective Cat is a thoroughly enjoyable read full of messages about bravery, family and belonging. I really liked that although Max has only ever lived a life of riches and has always been waited on he is able to adapt to his new situation and through his resourcefulness he demonstrates to the reader that their future is not defined by their past.
This is the first in a series of books by real life actress, Sarah Todd Taylor. She has performed in numerous theatre productions and her love for all things theatrical shine through in this entertaining read. I always love a book that has illustrations that complement the text and Nicola Kinnear’s sketches get Max-imum marks. The read is ideally suited for readers who are new to chapter books and the regular drawings are delightful and help make the read not feel text heavy.
A book that cat lovers, amateur dramatists and wanna-be sleuths will all enjoy reading. Children (and grown-ups) will love trying to untangle the clues and solve the mystery alongside Max. Purr-fect reading for 7+.