The Artsy Mistake Mystery

The Artsy Mistake Mystery

Book - 2017
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"Outdoor art is disappearing all over the neighbourhood! From elaborate Halloween decorations to the Stream of Dreams fish display across the fence at Stephen and Renée's school, it seems no art is safe. Renée's brother, Attila, has been cursing those model fish since he first had to make them as part of his community service. So everyone thinks Attila is behind it when they disappear. But, grumpy teen though he is, Attila can do no wrong in Renée's eyes, so she enlists Stephen's help to catch the real criminal."--
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Dundurn, 2017
ISBN: 9781459738805
Characteristics: 201 p. ; 21 cm

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forbesrachel Aug 12, 2018

Stephen and Renée, two average seventh graders, get swept up by a new case when they notice that art has begun to disappear throughout the community. Not only does Stephen become a suspect to some, but Renée also becomes personally invested when her brother is linked to another crime. Everything happens during the course of their usual lives; the two walk the neighbour's dogs, they go to school, and they help each other out as friends. The whole mystery is low key, with the greatest bit of tension coming from the gun in the school subplot. Even this though is not played up, it is treated more realistically rather than for dramatic effect. Stephen breaks up each day, and therefore the chapters according to the mistakes made (hence the series title). He fixates on the errors made by himself and others, whether great or small. This gimmick can be a bit overplayed, but for the most part, the author varies it up enough that it doesn't become tiresome. Stephen's other stand out traits are that he is observant (which is reflected in the first person narrative), and well-intentioned. However, he and his friend are still young and inexperienced. They make a lot of assumptions, worry about matters that, while serious, could be alleviated by speaking to an adult, and act with few facts to back them up. The Great Mistake Mystery series is set in Burlington, Ontario. Locals will be able to geographically follow along based on the locations mentioned, and can recognize the part of town portrayed by each cover's map. The mystery may not amount to much, but for a cozy read about community, life as a dog walker, and spending time with friends, this series is a nice one.

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