The Falcon’s Malteser is the first in a series of books starring the Diamond brothers by well-loved author of children’s and young adult books Anthony Horowitz. Tim and Nick, aka The Diamond Brothers, run the world’s worst private-detective agency and they throughly live up to this reputation in their first case.
Down-on-his-luck private detective Tim Diamond and his younger brother Nick find their fortunes changed when a mysterious dwarf-figure named Johnny Naples enters their premises and offers them £200 for the easy task of looking after a box of maltesers. A bit of easy money is just what the boys need but then Johnny Naples is killed and the boys find themselves being chased by notorious figures from the criminal underworld. The box of chocolates is somehow connected to diamonds and if the boys can figure out how then a multi-million pound fortune could be theirs. That will be easier said than done though and never mind keeping the box of maltesers safe, the lives of the boys are in danger and they are going to have to work very hard just to stay alive.
The Times say that, “Horowitz has become a writer who converts boys to reading.” I would go one better and say that this book could convert most boys and girls to reading. Reading should bring joy and enjoyment and The Falcons Malteser brings it in abundance. Horowitz writes with his foot pressed firmly on the accelerator pedal and the action, twists and turns unfold at break-neck speed. There are kidnappings, killings, arrests, wrongful arrests, cement burials, villains - lots of villains, a very valuable box of maltesers, oh and did I say killings! The read is non-stop action, thrills and laughs, a heck of a lot of laughs. Humour flits between light-hearted and rather dark and Horotwitz has fuelled this read with a copious amount of puns and clever word-play.
There are a lot of characters and it can be a bit of a challenge to remember who they all are and how they are all connected. The two lead protagonists, Tim and Nick, are the perfectly disastrous duo. Older brother Tim is hapless, hopeless and an all out dimwit. Younger brother Nick is smart, quick-witted and is the narrator of the story and I’m a big fan of his story-telling style.
This book might be over twenty-five years old but there’s a reason that I include it in my recommend reads for children of 9+. It always receives positive feedback and readers of this one are always wanting to read more of The Diamond Brothers adventures of which there are several - I personally recommend ‘South By South East’ and ‘I Know What You Did Last Wednesday’.
Recommended for 9+.