Tuesday 12 September 2017

Howard Wallace, P.I. - Casey Lyall - Howard Wallace, P.I. Book 1

Howard Wallace, P.I.
Howard Wallace, P.I. Book 1
Casey Lyall
Sterling Children's Books
ISBN 9781454919490
eISBN 9781454919957
ASIN B0751J58M5

I originally picked up a signed copy of this book at the book launch. But I struggle with getting around to reading physical books. It sat on my bed side table for a year and I picked it up a few times got through the first chapter and sat it down again. I so much prefer eBooks. When I bought the hard cover the eBook was not available.  I picked up the eBook edition a few days ago, and could not stop reading once I started. I ended up devouring the book in three sittings. And have already read a third of book two in the series before sitting down to write this review.

The writing in this book is very tight. It is a middle grade or tween read. But in many ways it reads like a young Spencer for Hire. Or like Mike Hammer in print. Reading this book took me back to my own days in school, but also when I was older and started watching detective TV shows with my father. I love the character’s, the setting and the pace in this novel. I have already told my oldest two children how much I loved it and why. My oldest and I have added it to our to be read list of books we read together. And my son has asked if we can read it after we finish our current book in The Great Mistake Mysteries from Sylvia McNicoll.

We have two main characters in this novel, to start the obvious Howard Wallace, who fancies himself a P.I. wears a bath robe as a trench coat. Chews gum, and often talks like he if from a classic movie or older TV show. And then we have Ivy mason, the new kid in town, her father is a cop, she is pretty smart and she wants in on this detective agency gig. The main mystery in this volume focuses around missing signed student council checks, and blackmail. Not only is the client being blackmailed but soon Howard is being threatened and his ‘office’ is ransacked a couple of times. And the tires on his old but faithful bike Big Blue get slashed. There is also some smaller cases on the go around this main investigation. We have some of the typical school cliques in this book, jocks (though on the periphery), student council, drama club, band kids. And some kids that are just trying to make it through primary school. It certainly is a lot of drams for some grade 7 and 8 students.

This is one of those books that I finally got around to reading that I really wish I had read earlier. There are so many people I would have recommended this book to over the last year. It is also great that Casey is a local author. Her live reading from the book at the launch was excellent. I can highly recommend this book and the series. At the end of this book is a plug for the second book. I really hope there will be more adventures of Wallace and Mason Investigations to come in the future.

Books by Casey Lyall:
Inky's Great Escape: The Incredible (and Mostly True) Story of an Octopus Escape


Howard Wallace, P.I. Series:

Howard Wallace, P.I.
Shadow of a Pug

Sabotage Stage Left

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