A new sleuth hits the shelves in 2023 and I have had the pleasure of an early read. I know for certain that mysteries are my favourite genre and I enjoy reading the ones written for children as they are the ones who figure things out best! They are clever, easily ignored by grown ups and have brilliant powers of observation. They are also hilarious!
Bonnie Montgomery and Grampa Banks are visiting the local museum when a shocking event stalls their enjoyment of the weird and wonderful inside. The lights go out, a scream is heard and Bonnie changes persona! She dons a disguise and becomes the Great Detective Montgomery Bonbon! He has several big cases solved and though the local law enforcement, Inspector Sands, is not a fan, Bonbon is on the case.
There has been a murder and a theft. A few clues are left behind and Bonbon is on the trail of suspects, thief and the aptly named Blowpipe Killer. Can Bonbon figure it all out before disaster strikes again? From stake outs in a grey ice cream van to mysteriously clever parrots, there is humour mixed in with the mystery to great effect for the reader.
The illustrations throughout the book almost act as a case file style support for the reader with maps, snapshots of suspects and clues drawn in. It is a clever approach to illustrating a mystery story.
Montgomery Bonbon and Grampa Banks make an excellent team and the age and experience of Banks definitely keeps Bonbon grounded and thinking clearly. They easily switch between boss and associate roles and there is clearly a lot of love and respect between them, a general inclination to spend time together. It is a wonderful part to the story.
Bonbon is a brilliant new sleuth, one that children will love reading about and pretend to be! I can see a surge in fake moustache purchases. What a great read aloud this would be and an opportunity to create your own persona, disguise and mystery to solve!
As a debut, this is very impressive and I can’t wait for more Montgomery Bonbon! I also think the name is utterly fantastic!