Book Review: The A&A Detective Agency: The Fairfleet Affair by K. H. Saxton
Follow clues, solve puzzles, crack the code… find the missing millionaire.
The celebrated museums of the Fairfleet Institute are known for curating the mysteries of humanity. But they don’t solve mysteries. Luckily, twelve-year-old friends Alex Foster and Asha Singh of the A&A Detective Agency do. Or they will . . . once they get a real case to test their skills as sleuths.
When Dr. Alistair Fairfleet, the institute’s eccentric chairman, disappears on the first day of Alex and Asha’s summer vacation, they receive a letter written by the missing millionaire himself inviting them to a game involving complicated clues and puzzles. It is just the sort of case they’ve been waiting to tackle. But nothing in the Fairfleet case has a simple solution. As the kids track down clues, they uncover art forgeries, archaeological crimes, and Fairfleet family secrets. All of this tests their partnership and forces them to confront the complicated legacies of the people and places they admire most.
Am I having the best run of reading that I can remember having in recent times? I think so! I keep picking up books thinking, I’ll try this one, and if it’s not for me, I’ll move on. But they’re all for me! Everything I’ve picked up lately has been fantastic! Was this another fantastic read? Yes. Yes it was!
I think I’m really into mysteries these days. This story grabbed my attention right away. When a local bigwig goes missing, he leaves behind clues for four very important adults in town and two super-sleuth children, Alex and Asha. Their detective agency certainly has never had a case this big to solve. And thank goodness they’re involved because they FOR SURE put together more of the pieces than the adults do. Also? Most of the adults seem suspicious. Who knows what? Who may be behind the disappearance? Who may be after the kids?
Alex and Asha are smart, they’re determined, and they don’t mind stirring things up. As Alex says, “We didn’t come to be useful. We can to find the truth. And if that requires a little disturbance, so be it” (55). And boy howdy do those kids cause disturbances. They end up interrogating not just the adults but really digging deep and thinking hard about art forgeries, history, archeology, literature, and the entire practice and morality of curating museum and art collections in the first place. Oh! AND there’s a secret bookcase door revealing a hidden room. I want one!
Full of clues and puzzle pieces to ponder, this complicated mystery will keep readers guessing all the way until the end. I already can’t wait for the next installment of this new series!
Review copy (ARC) courtesy of the publisher
Publisher: Union Square Kids
Publication date: 09/19/2023
Series: A&A Detective Agency
Age Range: 8 – 12 Years
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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