Monday, May 27, 2013

Inspector Rumblepants and the Case of the Golden Haggis - Mike Blyth


Summary:  Inspector Rumplepants and Sergeant Widebottom from New Scotland Yard's Special and Confusing Crime Division are called in (as Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Watson are away on an Austrian skiing holiday) to solve the mysterious theft of the Golden Haggis, the symbol of Scottish royalty. Battling against time, a dastardly thief and his band of cutthroat gypsies, a mysterious weapon that causes uncontrollable farting, and an evil Scottish prince, they must find the Golden Haggis before the Scottish clans unite to invade England (again) and then take over the world. Helped by Agent Amber, a pretty but lethal secret agent from MI six-and-a-half, the overenthusiastic Inspector Nailhard from the crack police Fast Armed Response Team (FART), and a part-time Scottish secret agent (whose day job is a butcher), they must overcome overwhelming odds and unravel confusing clues in order to solve the case and save the world.  (Summary from goodreads.com.  Image from inspectorrumblepants.com)

Disclaimer:  I was given a free ARC of Inspector Rumblepants for my review.  All opinions are my own.

My Review:  The first installment in the Inspector Rumblepants series introduces us to Mike Blyth’s Sherlock Holmes counterpart and his sidekick.  Unfortunately, the Inspector and his team seem to be more Lestrade than Sherlock, facing down the humiliation of leaving a massive search for a stolen Big Ben (which turned out to not be stolen in the first place).  They team up with a mysterious young individual, Agent Amber, to investigate a stolen statue – one that enables the holder (as long as he is of royal Scottish blood) to rule Scotland. 

There was a lot I liked about this book, and some that may need a little tweaking.  To start, I love Agent Amber.  Love her!  I want more characters like her: smart, strong, dedicated, driven, and feminine.  She’s the brain (and the brawn) behind the outfit.  Second, at the back of the book, there’s a list of “Hidden Anachronisms” (supposed and real) hidden throughout the book that Blyth has planted to ignite the reader’s sleuthing skills – including a reference to ready-made clothes, crocodiles in America, and more.  It was fun to read what I had missed and sharpen my skills.

There were some plot points that felt extremely rushed – mainly things that happened out of sight of the reader and were crammed in a little too quickly for my liking.  But I had to keep reminding myself that this book was written for kids, not for Christie fans like me.

All in all, this was a fun book and one that I look forward to using to introduce my kids to the mystery genre.

My Rating: Three and a half stars.

For the Sensitive Reader:  As you can tell from the title, there’s a fair amount of latent potty humor scattered throughout the book.  Significantly less than the Captain Underpants series, but I don’t like the word “fart”, and it’s used quite a bit.

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