Nothing interesting ever happens in Cleevesdon with the exception of the odd explosion coming from the shed in Mr. Conran’s garden. So when kaboom turns to kidnap, fingerprint dust will fly. Operation Gadgetman is a terrifically thrilling mystery read packed with excitement and suspense. This is a book that has sat on my bookshelf for way too long and I’m so happy that I got around to finally reading it - I absolutely loved it! This is the kind of book that will have children reading long past their bedtime.
Beans’s dad, or Gadgetman as she prefers to call him, likes nothing better than spending time in his shed working on his inventions and gadgets - inventing everything from exploding animal crackers to ever lasting lightbulbs. But when his latest invention - a machine that can be used to steal millions (and even zillions) of pounds from banks and building societies - attracts the attention of some very dangerous people, Gadgetman finds himself in a whole world of trouble.
When Beans and her school friends arrive home from school one Friday afternoon following yet another detention and there is no sign of her father, she knows something is wrong. With a bizarrely written letter on the kitchen table the only hint of her father’s whereabouts, Beans and her friends, Ann and Louisia, begin a daring race against time to find Gadgetman before it is too late. Equipped with Gadgetman's new Spy Kit, complete with Spy Kit Instruction Book, can they find Gadgetman before his money-making device ends up in the wrong hands?
This has all the best bits of a child-friendly episode of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) - looking for clues, dusting for fingerprints, gathering evidence and setting traps. Children will love working alongside the girls - playing detective and solving the mystery. Don’t be surprised to find readers going around the house with pieces of sellotape or cocoa powder on the hunt for finger prints.
It is always refreshing to read a book that has diverse characters of different ethnicities and in Beans, Ann and Louisa, Blackman has created three likeable, relatable and relevant characters. Central figure Beans is an only child who lives with her ‘eccentric’ father after the death of her mother several years ago and readers will no doubt laugh at Beans’ father as he does his best to embarrass her in-front of her friends.
An enjoyable read for readers of 7+.
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