Bee is very happy at her summer job working in the taxidermy department at the Museum of Natural History, that is until things take a startling turn. Her boss is found dead in the Red Rotunda. It is being written off as a suicide but Bee doesn’t believe he killed himself, there are just too many things that don’t make sense. There is the mysterious museum benefactor, employees of the museum acting mysteriously and a pocketful of glass eyes that were found on the body. Bee is meticulous, methodical and loves a good mystery and this time she has found herself in the middle of one and she just can’t walk away from it. Added to the mix is the boy who just started working with her, he has a weird knowledge of animals and an attraction she hasn’t felt before. Will she ever find out what happened to her boss.
This is a funny and smart read. Bee is a quirky character who is quite simply, very appealing. She is the adult in the relationship with her mother, a methodical and somewhat serious girl. She is by no means the only quirky character, her mother is a geek of a whole other level and Toby has enough odd moments in amongst his spouting of trivia that leaves you wondering just what his agenda really is.
I like Bee in part because she references the girl detectives I grew up with (Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew) as well as other favourite literary detectives. This is a rare read in that it is a YA mystery novel that has an interesting puzzle at it’s core that doesn’t have paranormal or other influences. Wilkinson has created a thoroughly modern girl detective with more than a littl etip of the hat to nostalgia.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: 01 May 2011
Format: Paperback 324 pages
ISBN 13: 9781742376196
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