River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

July Book Reviews – Mystery


Warren the 13th & the All-Seeing Eye

By Tania Del Rio



Warren the 13th & the All-Seeing Eye is a story about a boy trying to take over the family business after a tragedy occurs. You see that through all his effort, the hotel is in terrible shape and the new management above him (because he is only a boy after all) is not pulling their weight. The hotel now stands as a shadow of what is used to be. Tania del Rio tells the tale with a mystic tone that makes you excited for what is waiting around the corner for Warren. Warren’s Uncle Rupert and Aunt Annaconda have been overseeing the business, or lack thereof. When a guest finally comes after years of every room being vacant, Aunt Annaconda goes even crazier than usual and is sure they are both looking for the same thing, the all-seeing eye.

The book is full of wonderful illustrations and is formatted in a way that makes it interesting for all ages. The two column layout of the text combined with the illustrations make it easy to read considering the larger square size of the book. The visuals are fascinating, stimulating and eerie. If you like a good mystery with visuals to back up the strange characters, this is the book for you!




By Patrick Carman



Floors by Patrick Carman is the first book in a mystery series about Leo, a boy who lives with his maintenance man dad in the basement of the Whippet Hotel. Together they fix things in the hotel’s crazily themed rooms for the equally eccentric guests. When Leo finds a box hidden in the duck elevator (yes, an elevator just for the rooftop ducks!), he knows the hotel’s missing owner Merganzer Whippet is trying to reach out to him. With aid from Remi, the assistant hotel doorman, Leo finds more boxes as he embarks on an adventure that takes him through the entire hotel. Will he be able to solve the clues hidden in each box he finds and help Mr. Whippet before it’s too late? Read the book to find out. This book is great for fans of books like The Candymakers or Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, or everyone who likes a zany mystery with great characters.


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Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head

By Lauren Oliver



Sam, Philippa, Thomas and Max are four extraordinary children with extraordinary powers – Sam is the strongest boy in the world, Philippa is a mentalist, Thomas is able to contort his body in any way imaginable, and Max has impeccable accuracy when it comes to knife-throwing.  A new exhibit arrives at Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders and it appears that this new addition comes with a curse. When the shrunken head is stolen it seems the museum is done for and will have to close down. The four children work together to discover who stole the head to save their home, as people around them seem to be falling victim to the curse.  The four children need to urgently get to the bottom of everything to save not only the museum, but also themselves. The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver is a fast paced mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat.



Friday Barnes, Girl Detective

By R.A. Spratt



Young genius Friday Barnes prefers to go unnoticed and blend into the background. School is a breeze for her, so she spends her time reading detective novels. When she wins $50,000 dollars for uncovering the culprit behind a jewel theft, Friday spends her cash on enrollment into a prestigious boarding school. She is quickly thrust into the spotlight when her new classmates discover her super sleuthing skills. With the help of her roommate Melanie, Friday become an amateur P.I. investigating missing homework and classmate rivalries. She sets her sights on the biggest mystery of all: The Case of the School Swamp Yeti. R.A. Spratt’s humorous text and Phil Gosier’s cartoon illustrations make this a fun detective novel for elementary readers.