Twelve-year-old Agatha Mistery journeys to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings with her cousin, Dash, her butler, Chandler, her cat, Watson, and a handy petrifying cactus to find a stolen artifact.
For his final exam in Investigation Techniques, hapless student detective Dash has to find the fragile tablet showing the location of an undiscovered tomb. Naturally, he enlists the help of his cousin Agatha, an aspiring mystery writer whose prodigious memory and attention to detail he needs. Chandler, posing as Agent DM14, provides an adult presence while the two work. Dash’s school-issued EyeNet gadget does everything from track warm bodies to identify the chemical composition of bits of dust. Fast-paced action, plentiful dialogue, humor and intriguing technology combine in this promising launch for an original paperback series focused on Agatha’s international adventures. Stevenson is the pseudonym of Italian writer Mario Pasqualotto. His text has been ably translated by Kelly and adapted by Gold. Turconi’s illustrations, ranging from spot art to a full double-page spread, provide cartoony images of the characters and add to the exotic sense of place. A cast of characters and mission description appear just after the title page, and the book concludes with a hint of adventures to come—in Bengal.
A lively and auspicious beginning. (Mystery. 8-12)