Author: Lili Wilkinson
Released: 12 April 2011
Source: Boomerang Books
Reviewed by: Sapphired Dragon
Sapphired Dragon rating : ***
Purchase: Boomerang Books | The Book Depository
Synopsis ( via Goodreads):
Bee is in her element volunteering in the taxidermy department at the Museum-but her summer job turns out to be full of surprises including: A dead body in the Red Rotunda. A mysterious Museum benefactor. A large stuffed tiger in the catacombs. A handsome boy with a fascination for unusual animal mating habits. And a pocket full of glass eyes. Can Bee sift through the clues and discover if her colleague committed suicide or if there's a murderer in their midst?
Beatrice Ross is a teenager with a love of mystery novels working in the taxidermy department of the Natural History Department. When her supervisor Gus dies and his death called a suicide, Bea who is certain Gus didn't kill himself decides it is up to to find the real killer and save the day.
What follows is a simple straightforward detective story, compete with clues to pic up ala the formula of a typical mystery novel. In fact this is intended as Wilkinson plays with this theme throughout the novel poking fun at it all the while her main charater is obbserving each stage of the mystery as if she was in a mystery novel herself.
The main character Bea is likeable, smart and funny. A lover of mystery novels, she is also observing a secene and drawing conclusions and investigating every person she believes should be under suspicion for Gus' death.
The Watson to her Sherlock and love interest, I didn't get as much as a handle on. He seemed sweet and full of extremely strange animal facts but I couldn't quite believe in him as such and found some parts of his character a little bit over the top.
On the whole though the story itself was well paced, keeping me interested at all times and also a lot of fun. There might be a few holes in the plot line but tone of the novel and the freshness of the voice mean you are willing to ignore these in favour of just enjoying a light, fresh story that shines brightly in a genre where dark and paranormal have most recently taken hold.
An enjoyable and fun read.