This series opener for middle-grade mystery fans introduces sixth-grade amateur detective Andi Boggs and her sidekick, next-door-neighbor Colin.
Andi, short for Andora, and her older sister, Bethany, recently lost their scientist parents in a plane crash and have moved in with their aunt Amelie, who lives in the longtime family home in the remote little Ohio college town of Killdeer. There, Andi discovers a mysterious chest labeled “Andora” in the attic. No one, however, appears to know anything about this other Andora, who the kids discover was born in 1929. Curious about her namesake, Andi decides to investigate with her new partner, Colin. Enter the villain of the book, the egotistical local historian Dr. Girard, who’ll do nearly anything to get interesting material for his new book about children of the Great Depression. Flower weaves in some history and also shines a light on the emotional difficulties the two recently orphaned girls experience, especially Bethany, who lashes out at those around her. Characterizations, while never complex, stand out as nicely individualistic. The mystery itself is intriguing enough, especially as the children uncover a few more clues about the mysterious Andora. Some life-threatening suspense highlights the book’s climax, and a small smattering of religion keeps the story appropriate for a Christian audience.
A fun little detective story with some simple life lessons. (Mystery. 10-14)