Katie Milk Solves Crimes and So on...

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Annie Caulfield
Corgi Yearling Books
Oct 2005
Despite the promise of the title, there�s not a whiff of a crime for at least six chapters. Instead leisurely scene setting and character introductions fill the pages. But if you can get through the slow start, you�ll be rewarded by some engaging situations and unexpected plot twists.

Katie starts boarding school hoping to have adventures. Night-time expeditions investigating rumours of mad nuns, and the mystery of an orphan girl who claims that her mother is really a supermodel, provide the excitement she craves.

The story is told in the first person. Katie�s chatty tone and frequent reflections on the world could either amuse or annoy. Stereotypically, teenagers speak with limited vocabulary and frequent repetition. Katie Milk�s voice has this real life ring, which makes for an easy read, but also means descriptions are not as rich as they might have been.

Occasionally, Caulfield seems to have used Katie�s youthful inexperience at narrating to cover some slightly awkward plotting. �Now, I expect you�re not supposed to do this � to say about things going on that you didn�t know were going on at the time � but I think it�s important for you to know the thing going on at the time that I didn�t know was going on at the time�� This didn�t work for me.

What did work though were the well observed details which brought characters to life � hair flicking Danielle was a particularly convincing show-off. Secrets and lies surrounding key characters add a puzzle element which readers will enjoy trying to untangle. And the resolution succeeds in tying all the loose ends neatly together, whilst still being unpredictable.

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This page contains a single entry by Dawn Casey published on April 8, 2006 10:35 PM.

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