6 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Anna L. (annalovesbooks) reviewed The Mystery of the White Elephant (Three Cousins Detective Club, Bk 1) on
ISBN 1556614055 - For ages 7-10. I'm not a fan of Christian childrens' book, but I read them when I come across them. This one has a nice story; the Christian aspect isn't excessively over-done, just one little preachy lesson in the beginning and one at the end, but I'm still not sure how appealing this series will be to non-Christian readers.
Timothy, Sarah-Jane and Titus are cousins who enjoy solving mysteries under the name the Three Cousins Detective Club. Timothy's church is auctioning "white elephants" (a term which is explained in the text) and Mrs Foster has brought an actual white elephant - in the form of a cookie jar. The kids really like it and want to show it to Timothy's parents, but when they return to the table, it's gone! Worse, it turns out to be valuable! Can the kids find it before the auction starts?
The back of the book says ages 7-10, which might be a better fit than the 9-12 you'll find on most websites. This book is just too little-kid-ish for the older ones. The first issue I had with the book is that it is #1 in the series, but the book keeps referring to older cases - a little confusing.
Second, Murphy seems to have a problem writing in full sentences. For example: "It was hard to calm down and explain. But if the cousins had learned anything about telling exciting things to grown-ups, it was that you had to take it slow. Otherwise, grown-ups would just make you take a deep breath and start over. And that was an even bigger waste of time than going slowly in the first place." That should be two sentences, not four! Murphy does this throughout the entire book and it's really bad writing. Perhaps she doesn't think children can read long sentences, or perhaps she simply doesn't know how to write. Hopefully, she'll get over this habit in the next book because I do think the series has possibilities.