3 out of 4 stars
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Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat is Book 7 in the Inca Cat Detective Series by R.F Kristi. This is the first book in the series that I have read. Fortunately, it works well as a standalone children’s book.
Inca, a Siberian kitty, masterfully plays the role of protagonist and narrator; After all, it is her diary. We are initially introduced to her family and detective agency. The “super-duper cat detective” is on vacation in Sri Lanka with her family. She enjoys her time relaxing on the beach and meeting new friends including an elephant and her daughter as well as a sea turtle. However, when she hears the news that an ancient sword has been stolen from a local museum, Inca cannot resist the urge to somehow try to crack the case. Solo, a world-famous detective, and friend of Inca’s “mom’ (owner) is commissioned to solve the case. This gives Inca even more chances to be snoopy.
This is a children’s book; The target audience is specifically readers aged 7-12. Consequently, the author’s diction is very simple except for a few words like oust and ambled. However, the use of a few sophisticated words encourages children to expand their vocabulary. Also, the book seems to have been professionally edited and is short enough to be read in one sitting.
I recently heard a writer say that the mark of a good children’s book is that it can also be enjoyed by adults. I enjoyed this book. The cast of characters was entertaining. I liked the mama and baby elephant duo as well as Rani, the sea turtle, who taught that Inca was a mermaid. The mystery element of the story was also well developed. Overall the story was very engaging.
Moreover, the illustrations were eye-catching. Unfortunately, some of them were not integrated well into the story. Maybe some illustrations were poorly placed, as they did not seem to correlate with the matter being discussed at the time. Also, some subplots did not add to the main storyline. For example, there was a long account of an excursion to meet a leopard in the middle of the night. This might annoy some readers who are longing to find out more about the mysterious case. However, some may realize that this is a diary and detours like this are to be expected in this type of format.
In conclusion, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to children and even adults who are fans of the mystery genre. I did not give this book a perfect rating because I think that the book had more potential. What I mean by it having more potential is that although it works well as a standalone book, since it is part of a series, it should have motivated me to be excited about reading the other books in the series. I will most likely read other books in the series, but they are not high on my “I want to read list”.
Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat
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