Thursday, March 30, 2017

Eddie Red Rides Again! Eddie Red Undercover: Doom at Grant's Tomb by Marcia Wells

I - Eddie will know what this means.

Only Eddie doesn't.

"I have absolutely no idea what this means," I said. I'm sitting in a hard wooden chair in Chief Williams office.

Because his photographic memory helped solve a couple of cases involving international jewel thieves Lars Heinrich and Patrick O'Malley, the New York city cops are convinced that he is indeed the "Eddie" in question in this puzzling anonymous tipoff. And that's how Eddie finds himself beginning middle school with two NYPD bodyguards, one pretending to be a visiting aunt with an unlikely urge to drive him to and from school, and, the other, horror of horrors, the dour police detective Bovano, who appears at school disguised as an improbable student teacher. In return, Eddie is hired to stake out the museum where the thieves are expected to make their heist from a van with the logo Frank's Flowers painted on the side, to watch for the suspected thieves to appear to case the museum.

And when more fake bombs appear at random spots around Manhattan--Cleopatra's Needle, the gilded statue of William Sherman in Central Park, Grant's Tomb, and Penn Station--Eddie realizes that he needs his school cohorts with special abilities to help sleuth out the connection between the theft of the Duchess of Ireland's jewel-studded crown and the locations of the fake bombs, but just as Eddie thinks he's got a clue, he starts getting cryptic texts from on his phone from someone called The Fox who delivers yet another puzzling midnight message:

The map. The answer is on the map. Gold. Stolen treasure.

We'd make a good team. Text me when you figure it out. Nice to meet you, Eddie Red.

And just as Eddie thinks he's got a another lead on what's going down, (and just as he's about to screw up the courage to ask Jenny Miller to the fall dance)--he himself is taken hostage in, of all places, the maze at the school carnival, by Lars Heinrich and his gang. The game is on! All Eddie has to do is to escape from his kidnappers in time to stop the bombs and prevent the jewel theft of the century. No pressure.

In Marcia Well's Eddie Red Undercover: Doom at Grant's Tomb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), her boy detective needs all his special powers in this latest in her series, Eddie Red Undercover, which ends with Eddie using his rare memory as he frantically tries to defuse a bomb.

Now only two mysteries remain--who IS The Fox, and will Eddie ever ask Jenny to the dance?

Like those iconic boy detectives of literary history, The Hardy Boys, Eddie doesn't work alone. He has his cyber-genius sidekick Jonah, and his oddball, sometimes-buddy Milton, who's a bit obsessive about condiments and good at making lists. Like Encylopedia Brown, who curates big data, Eddie's talent is similarly being a human camera, with a photographic memory and the ability to reproduce what he sees in detailed drawings, and like Theodore Boone, John Grisham's intrepid boy legal eagle, he has a way of getting drawn into serious danger as he tracks down crooks. And although he's just a regular middle school guy who's intimidated by asking Jenny Miller to go to the dance, Eddie Red has his own style of sleuthing, a way of bringing evidence together and plenty of courage when it's needed. This one is an intriguingly complex mystery just right for clever middle readers, complete with an appendix on cryptography (code and cypher lore) to inspire sharing some secret messages at school.

Other books in this series are Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile and Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery in Mayan Mexico.



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