★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Ring of Rocamadour starts off Beil’s series with a really good middle-grade read. Sure, for some of your readers there’s quite a bit of maths (and I’m not even talking just two or three of the clues), but on the whole the story is well-written for such a target market, and I’m sure would have been an enjoyed series had it been in my library when I was that age. If I’m totally honest, I can’t really remember how it ended up on my TBR, but I am quite glad it did – it’s nice to have a refreshing MG mystery every now and then!
My absolute favourite part about the book was the little chapter sub-headings. They didn’t act in any way as a spoiler for the upcoming chapter, but instead offered a quirky insight to the narrating character, which helped the reader connect with the characters even better. Beil’s characters weren’t half-bad, either, even if they were the standard, predictable mix you ecounter with such a plotline. He even had the old bad-guy-that’s-actually-a-good-guy – a real classic!
Beil brought together his characters with a little humour, some well-balanced action and a lot of suspense, to create a strong MG mystery novel. Sure, I felt that by clue 5 I had more than solved the mystery, but that comes from experience of MG mysteries, and Beil stands strong among the contemporaries of the genre. One I’d really recommend for a MG reader (and to satisfy the inner-MG within me, I may just end up finishing the series myself!)
Recommended for fans of:
- Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter
- The River of Adventure by Enid Blyton
- The Serpent Scenario by A.J. Butcher