The Secret of Willow Lane by Virginia Rose Richter
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: mystery/suspense, recent historical
Length: Short Story (47 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis
Two eleven-year-old amateur detectives set out to solve the mystery of a deceased neighbor’s missing will and to identify a stranger snooping around the house where the will is thought to be hidden. What begins as an excuse to use their new detective kit turns into a frightening experience that has the girls running for their lives.
This was a fun read from beginning to end.
There’s nothing more mysterious than a book that begins with a light shining in an attic of a house that’s supposed to be empty. The opening scene drew me in and I felt myself wanting to read it in one sitting. The characters were all well developed and I liked the family setting and how the main character and her father interacted. There’s mystery, suspense, even some danger, and you find yourself looking for clues too, which I might add were cleverly placed by Ms. Richter. I thought the plot was heading one way and that I’d solved the mystery, but it proved that I was wrong. It’s fast paced and the ideal length for the 9-12 year old reader.
I liked the setting of this story too. I’m glad to hear that this is the beginning of a series featuring these two amateur sleuths because I’d like to read more about their adventures. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if adults and children choose to read this one together.