Kirkus Reviews QR Code
YOU'RE THE DETECTIVE by Lawrence Treat


by Lawrence Treat ; illustrated by Kathleen Borowik ; developed by AppEndix LLC

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2014
Publisher: AppEndix LLC

Two dozen puzzles give a little jolt of accomplishment when solved.

Treat has fashioned a satisfying format for this series of mysteries that starts with a visual overview of the crime scene, is followed by a short narrative explaining the problem under consideration, then poses a series of questions that help lead readers toward a solution of the mystery. The crime scenes have the atmosphere of the Hardy Boys book covers, with a touch of classic postage stamps and maybe Sam Spade lurking in the shadows. The narrative is straightforward, not actively misleading but not giving readers the answer on a tray, either. There is a good selection of conundrums, from sports to mazes to word scrambles to shadows, and the characters have enough personality to present multiple potential suspects for each caseā€”the entire game must be played before readers are allowed to advance to the next puzzle. Clues lie here and there, but reasoning as well as observation will give readers the advantage. There is an obvious disadvantage to the app: Once solved, twice a bore.

Readers who take it slowly will find the 24 puzzles will provide a full measure of pleasure. (iPad mystery app. 8-12)