From Jenny McLachlan, the author of the brilliant Roar trilogy, comes the first in a brand new series of ghostly mysteries and Dead Good Detectives is dead good, in-fact that doesn’t do it justice, it is dead brilliant and sparkles as brightly as pirate treasure.
Twelve-year-old Sid Jones loves hanging out in the graveyard with her best friend Zen; chasing ghosts and making up stories about the buried. When she inadvertently releases a 300-year-old-pirate and his parrot from the dead, she opens the door to the Halfway House, a strange and magical inn full of lost souls that are yet to escape this world and move on to the next all kept trapped by a terrible landlord.
Now Bones has escaped the inn, he has no intention of going back but he needs Sid’s help to find his treasure so he can leave this world. The sinister innkeeper is not happy that someone is meddling in his business and he has no intention of letting his ghosts go easily…
Fabulously written and with pages filled with the brilliant black and white artwork of Chloe Dominique, McLachlan serves up a brilliantly spooky read bursting with bags of adventure, bucketloads of fun, a mystery to solve, dark magic, peril, a pirate in a pickle, a shouty parrot and ghosts galore. With suspense and thrills and spills in abundance this is spine-tingling, bone-jangling fun of the absolute best kind.
With its clientele of spectres, who all need help to carry out their unfinished business in this world in order to move onto the next or fade away and live as a wraith for all eternity, this is your not typical detective story and it is dazzlingly brilliant for it. Lively and action-packed, the adventure all takes place in a wonderfully quirky seaside town with the pair of detectives running around in a funny and entertaining quest whilst the adults remain completely oblivious to the ghostly goings-on. And with Bones and his parrot rapidly fading away and innkeeper Old Scratch determined to scupper their every move, the duo certainly have their work cut out as the clock ticks down and Bones’ dreams of a ghostly sailing away slip out of reach with every passing minute.
Sid and Zen are as quirky as the adventure itself and their escapade together is the much needed tonic to repair a friendship that has fallen apart since the start of high school. Self-conscious Sid has distanced herself from Zen’s quirkiness in the hope of fitting in with the crowd but the message in this story is that being weird and yourself is a wonderful thing.
The Dead Good Detectives will be back for further spooky fun in the future.
With huge thanks to Harper Collins for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.