My thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK Children’s for a review copy of this book.
Murder at the Museum is the second in the Agatha Oddly series of books, a children’s series. Agatha Oddlow is thirteen and a very busy thirteen-year-old indeed. She is a detective and has been one for as long as she can remember, and any time a mystery piques her interest, she simply has to look into it. She is a great fan of Agatha Christie, her namesake, and especially of Poirot. In this one, the case she works on is a murder at the British Museum—one of the staff members has been stabbed for no apparent reason, and the only artefact missing is one of little value. So robbery was obviously not the motive. Agatha also attends the prestigious St Regis school as a scholarship student, where her friends are Liam and Brianna, who also help with her investigations. It helps that Brianna has her own chemistry lab at home and can run various tests. [Brianna was a member of the “Chic Clique”, a typical popular girl, but is now friends with Liam and Agatha, with whom she can be herself.] And if that wasn’t enough for a thirteen-year-old, Agatha is also awaiting tests to become a member of the Gatekeepers Guild, a secret organisation that works to keep London (in fact the country) safe, and has access to a network of tunnels and passageways under the city which can get them anywhere. Her mother was a star member, and died in somewhat mysterious circumstances which Agatha wants to get to the bottom of. Oh, and to add to all of that, Agatha’s father seems to have a secret too! All of this together makes for an action packed story where all these threads move along together to create a fun and exciting read.
I read this book without having read the first one, and while reading them in order would have made things a little clearer in terms of the background and the Gatekeepers Guild, not doing so didn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the story too much. Agatha herself I thought was a very likeable character, with a good deal of spunk, and not too much respect for the rules. The story is told in first person by Agatha. Though she is a fan of Christie, the way her mind works (sort of like the Mind Palace, which if I remember right is from the Sherlock TV series) and the case itself reminded me much more of Sherlock Holmes than Poirot. Some of what how she goes about solving her case also reminded me of Enid Blyton’s Findouters books (disguises and such). Liam and Brianna seem pretty likeable too, but I didn’t feel I got to see enough of them or at least them in action as much as we do (and obviously so) Agatha. The mystery itself, since I had Sherlock Holmes on my mind was something I could guess, the what at least, but still it was good fun. With the thread of her mother’s case continuing on, and of course another mystery to solve, this is a series I will definitely enjoy exploring. Till the next one comes, I still have the first to read. Great fun.
This book comes out on 7th March 2019!