Friday, January 23, 2015

The Book of Secrets

 Cover image for The book of secrets
The Book of Secrets (Mister Max Book 2)
by Cynthia Voigt
Alfred Knopf, 2014. Fiction. 355 p.

Max Starling is a turn-of-the-century, twelve-year-old who has been forced to support himself as a "solutioneer" (think detective) because of his parents' sudden disappearance in book 1 of the "Mister Max" series, The Book of Lost Things. In this second adventure, Max must assume a variety of disguises and roles to figure out who has been vandalizing local small businesses.  He must also use all his finesse to discover the identity of a mystery girl, who dresses like a servant, but carries herself like a fine lady.  All the time, he and his grandmother puzzle over odd clues that suggest Max's missing parents might be in real trouble. Voigt has a keen insight into human nature and the characters of Max, his grandmother, and their closest friends, Ari and Pia are all richly drawn. More contemplative than action packed, this is a mystery series for children who enjoy the world of the mind.

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