3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Mystery at Turkelton Manor by Kraig Dafoe is a middle-grade novel for kids aged ten and up. As the title and cover suggest, it is a mystery that takes place at Turkelton Manor.
Nate is spending his summer at his grandparents' house near Turkelton manor. It's a vast manor house complete with secret passages and interesting grounds. The family has two kids near Nate's age, and they become fast friends. Sleepy Shores is a town that seems much like its name, but when Nate sees something suspicious happening, he clues in his new friends Robert and Rebecca Turkelton. Will the three of them solve the case? To find out, you must read this page-turner!
I loved the classic chapter headings such as "A Bump in the Night." The illustrations that accompanied the chapter headings added interest and color to the book. I enjoyed that each image was a hint of the intrigue that was coming next.
The author did a great job at developing Nate's character throughout the story. He is the quintessential investigator/twelve-year-old boy. He gets up in the morning, grabs his notebook, and doesn't bother to brush his hair or his teeth, leaving one to wonder if that's why all investigators look just a little bit scruffy. These details endear the main character to the reader.
What I liked best about this novel is the old-world feel of the mystery even though it is set in the current day. The laptop, video games, and web-surfing didn't infringe on the story's plot at all. I didn't even notice them that much while reading.
This story pulled me in right at the beginning and kept me there. There is just the right amount of suspense and mystery to keep any discerning fan turning the pages to see what happens next. The writing style flowed easily, and I enjoyed the way the pace stayed fast. Nate's adventures never slowed down, and I could feel how life is for a child of twelve years. I found myself smiling many times over Nate's attempts to get out of chores so he could continue his investigations.
This book reminded me of mystery novels for the young adult genre I had read in the past, such as Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys, to name a few. I could find nothing to dislike about this work. I recommend it to young adults as well as older people who love a good, entertaining mystery. I can't think of anyone it wouldn't appeal to in some way.
The book has many great points, but unfortunately, it could use another round of editing. I found more than ten errors that ranged from spelling mistakes and wrong words to missing punctuation. For these reasons, I am rating it with 3 out of 4 stars. It could gain the highest rating with some editing, as it truly is a wonderful story perfectly suited to its age group and genre.
The Mystery at Turkelton Manor
View: on Bookshelves