Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves by Catherine O’Flynn

Lori and Max – Book One

Lori and Max is a fun, multi-layered detective story with some unexpected twists. Written in a young, chatty style, children will be pulled into the story as they spot clues and help Lori find answers.

This story has been very cleverly written from two points of view. Lori is an ordinary Year 6 girl who loves detective stories and trying to solve mysteries. To date, her mysteries have been pretty boring – finding her grandmother’s lost glasses and trying to work out why her teacher is always late to class.

Max is new to the school. She moves around a lot and is always having to fit in and find her place. Her keen observation skills make her a fantastic member of Lori’s sleuthing team and they soon become great friends.

When the charity money goes missing from school, things start to change. This isn’t just playing at being a detective anymore. Things turn dangerous and the girls are challenged to do all they can to bring the real criminals to justice.

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves – Book Two

I was really looking forward to this book after I enjoyed Lori and Max so much! Growing up on Nancy Drew, I have such a soft spot for clever girl detectives! This story is just as exciting as the first, full of mystery, intrigue, deception and cover-ups!

Lori is still doing her regular surveillance. Her keen observation skills point out so many of the usual, funny, day-to-day occurrences in Year 6. Readers will find themselves smiling and laughing out loud as they read.

Max loves her dog, Fang, and is thrilled when her mum gives her a phone. Everything is going well until Max finds out they have to move to a new flat and Fang can’t go with them. Then her phone goes missing and it seems like life is falling apart.

With multiple mysteries to solve, the girls launch themselves into an undercover plan that is more than a little bit dangerous. Raising issues such as poverty, mental health difficulties, criminal gangs, knife crime and stranger danger, this story deals with real-life situations in an engaging manner. Through pure determination and the power of their friendship, Lori and Max work together to do all they can to expose the truth and stand up for what is right.

Add in Lori’s eccentric grandmother, an “Antiques Roadshow” type programme, and some rare book dealers and you have the recipe for a perfect mystery story. With trust and friendship on their side, there is nothing these girls can’t do!

Thank you to Firefly Press for this fantastic mystery!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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