Sunday 3 December 2023

LIBBY AND THE MANHATTAN MYSTERY

 

by JO CLARKE; 

                              


 
                                                       

An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Literary Cat©, International Book Reviewer.

Hello, and welcome to my weekend Book Review featuring this week an Adventure in Middle Grade Fiction. PLUS a free selfie of me doing amazing hard . . . . nothings. 

Before we get going I'd like to announce the winner of a copy of LT Shearer's first book, The Cat Who Caught a Killer, is Lynn, from the Precious blog. Lynn, if you'll leave Mrs H a separate comment with your postal address (we wont publish the address), we'll try to get your gift out to you ASAP.
 
OK, so with out further ado, here's the review!


 


AUTHOR: Jo Clarke    

 

Cover and Interior art by: Becka Moor

 

Published by: Firefly Press

 

Publication date Paperback: 

 

 

Paperback ISBN:  978 1 915 444 394 

 

EBOOK ISBN:   978 1 915 444 400

UK Cover price for Paperback: £7.99

 

Pages: 219

 

Age range:   9 upwards


 

 

SPOILER ALERT


YES. Some as to plot direction and characters.

 

 

Thank you to... 

 

We are exceedingly grateful to FIREFLY PRESS Publishers for giving us advance viewing so we can Read & Review this latest in series mystery adventure, just for you. 


As ever, our views are our own, and we only share reviews of books we have bought, been given as gifts, or received in exchange for an impartial review. 


First and foremost, the books we review are those we select to read, like, and feel our global readers deserve to know about and that we hope they, their family, friends and students will enjoy. 


The plot

 

Here is a quick recap of the back story... Libby is a pupil at a rather unique school that visits a different country each term. Libby's aunt, Miss Agatha Mousedale, happens to be in charge of the school. The previous term had been spent in Edinburgh, and Libby and her best friend, Connie, had solved a fiendishly clever art crime under Connie's parent's very roof. That was quite a Christmas adventure, so do read our review of Libby and the Highland Heist, HERE.


With Christmas and winter out the way, Libby, Connie and Aunt Agatha arrive in New York for a new term. Leaving the airport, they are surprised when Connie's godmother and famed actress, Eloise, awaits in her chauffeur-driven limousine. Just as they pull away, Eloise picks up Count Alvarez, whose cab has been held up. They drop him off in a run-down area beside a blacked-out building. And despite having urgent business, he seems reluctant to go in. When Libby takes pictures of the buildings and area, she notices a blonde-haired lady in sunglasses watching them, but when she tries to get close, she drives off at speed. 

 

Suspicions are kindled but put aside quickly as Libby and Connie settle into a new school building and bedroom on the top floor. Libby thinks only she and Connie are sharing, but they are soon joined by Anastasia, who is quite brash and seems boastful of having been to NY many times and knows all the best places. Libby is not amused and feels instantly pushed out as Connie and Anastasia bond instantly, and she is without a pal.


Another new face is Miss Khatun, a replacement teacher who seems very strict and stern and unusually keen on not letting Libby and her friends have fun on their own.  


The students get to journey around NY in various arranged and escorted activities, and in so doing, also bump into Eloise and the Count. But something is wrong with the Count, who seems to mix up where he is from. Is it a mere mistake? And was the blonde-haired woman they see whilst in Central Park the same as the one before and following them or associated with the Count?


When Libby follows the Count to return his dropped handkerchief, he vanishes into the hotel basement. It turns out the hotel, the same one in which Eloise lives, is no longer his home, and the management is keen to speak to him about a specific matter.


One thing leads to another, and coincidences and suspicions mount. Libby and Connie join forces, dodging Anastasia, and, along with the boys, investigate what the Count is up to. But they must still persuade Aunt Agatha to let them go places and then escape Miss Khatun. When the Count loses all the funds he has raised for a local charity, Eloise steps in to organise and host a charity auction featuring famous and very expensive jewellery.

 

That, dear readers, is where I shall leave this review. I hope I have given you sufficient clues about what will come. Suffice it to say, things and people are not what or who they seem. And if you throw in an old adversary or two, and some surprise revelations about Libby's parents, you have a recipe for lots of fun and guessing.


So, what did we think?

 

****Spoiler alert**** Don't read on if you don't want to know more! 

 

In this third and definitely best adventure yet, we get embroiled in a plot that brings hints and flashes of adult adventure movies of past and present. With chases (through kitchens and train stations), heists, good guys and bad, and some scary underground shenanigans, there is a hearty Big Apple tang for the young mind to sink its teeth into and enjoy. 

 

It is hard to show everything and every angle to life in NY in such a short and pacy story, but I loved the potted vibe and taste of NY that Jo achieved. 

 

In many respects this seems like a concluding book, with many threads being drawn and tied together. But, here's the thing, in so doing, it opens out once more and the next adventure is already on the cards. As to who will feature and where it will be set, I'll let the reader find out for themselves. It does promise a lot though...

 

So . . . . 

Crunch time. 

 

This is a must-have for fans, who I firmly believe won't be disappointed.


I'll be there ready and waiting to review this for you. I have it earmarked with the publishers to get a copy ASAP. 

 


Want to buy a copy?


To get a copy, and you don't have to be in NY to do so, take the Subway, tram, bus or plain walk to your local bookstore. There are plenty out there, and each shop is just waiting to serve up whatever kind of mystery, fun and adventure you desire.

 

JO CLARKE'S WEB page can be found HERE or type this: https://jo-clarke.co.uk 


 

FIREFLY PRESS'S web page can be found HERE. or type this https://fireflypress.co.uk/

 


BECKA MOOR'S web page can be found HERE.  or type this: https://beckamoor.com

 

We are joining the Sunday Selfies, hosted by the wonderful Kitties Blue and their mum, Janet Blue in America.

 

Small image. The Cat on My Head Sunday Selfies Blog Hop badge. Features a yellow-haired lady with a tuxedo cat on her head.




Mrs H came in and wanted to lay down for a bit. Taking one look she proclaimed with a huff "Take the whole bed up, why don't you!" Which was a very kind offer, so I did. I did acquiesce in the end and off a slither to one side, legs hanging off the edge as well as the pillow space. 

 




Sometimes my generosity knows no bounds!

Till laters!

ERin


37 comments:

  1. ERin hey Kitty has every right to take over the bed. Us moms just have to find a way to wiggle in a little bit. And in the end we're quite glad for your company. And we must say you look really beautiful on that bright pink blanket.

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    Replies
    1. Mrs H just huffs and groans about her aged bones and needing a bigger bed. Sadly, for her, I'd occupy most of that space too. An accepted truth that a cat expands to occupy any given bed space ๐Ÿ˜‰
      And please leave a comment with your address so we can post you your prize.
      ERin

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    2. Dear Mrs. H. and ERin, I received my terrific book today. I love good mysteries with cats in them. I read non stop some times. Stopped doing some crafting because of books the past couple years. I will enjoy this during the winter and can not thank you enough for "The Cat Who Caught a Killer." It arrived at my house today 12/12.. Yours, Lynn Riley and Precious

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    3. I'm sure you will enjoy Conrad. He is one smart feline. Glad it arrived quickly, too. Watch out for the second book at a store near you. Another FAB read.
      Mrs H & ERin

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  2. Oh My, Erin you do know how to hog the entire bed, just imagine if Beau were allowed on the bed. Beaus mama can't go back to sleep is awakened in the night. the only reason we have no cat in the house even though I love them, is cats refuse to stay off the bed. Beau has his own 3 beds and 2 sofas though. thanks for stopping by our blog

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Mrs H feels the same way about dogs on beds. I'm allowed on as I'm a princess ;)
      ERin

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  3. ERin, We neffur knew what a magnificently long and floofy tail you have! It's quite splendiferous. And it was furry generous of you to allow Mrs H. to share your bed!

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    1. Thank you. That's exactly what I say, regularly! She still won't buy a sofa bed of her own! ๐Ÿ™‚
      ERin

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  4. Hi Erin! Thank you for your good wishes about my health. We appreciate it. Great review by your human - where does he find the time to read my Mom wants to know! MOL We always enjoy your selfies.

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    1. Mrs H must be a Time Lord Reckon, or else she is skimping on some of the housekeeping chores! I'll keep y eyes on her from now on ๐Ÿ™‚
      ERin

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  5. That is a nice and relaxing selfie, Erin. Imagine Mrs. H being upset when you only did as she suggested on the bed. Hmph.

    That book sounds great. I work in Manhattan, so that gives me a little extra reason to want to read it. :)

    Hugs to you and Mrs. H.

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    1. I'm sure Manhattan is adventuresome enough without having to read about it too. Great for kids that haven't ever been there and like adventures.
      ERin

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  6. ERin ... turn around ... purr please. We desire to see your pretty face ...

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    Replies
    1. Alas, this is a contractual and obligatory aft-end shot. Have tail must use it, and get repeats too!
      ERin

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  7. Congrats to Precious and her mom! This looks like a fun series. I love your selfie, glad you scored the whole bed. XO

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    Replies
    1. Scoring the whole bed is always fun. But nowhere near as exciting as reading the adventures Mrs H gets me.
      ERin

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  8. That book sounds like a very good mystery. I have been to New York several times and while I wouldn't like to live there, I have enjoyed visiting. I have always said how can cats take up so much room? Ivor and I used to end up clinging to either side while the boys had all the middle!

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    Replies
    1. I think I would feel the same way. And would be about any big city. Your boys are so much fun to see on the blog. Mrs H thinks. King Size bed would be needed if my body and ego gets much bigger. I will be happy with a Queen Size bed myself ;)
      ERin

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  9. ERin...bravo bravo bravo Thank goodness Mrs. is a quick learner....Love that gorgeous photo of you. Hugs Cecilia

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    1. Thank you, and yes, she can be quick, at times. Falling on the floor a few times usually drives things in. ๐Ÿ™‚
      ERin

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  10. Fantastic review Erin. This sounds a cool place to go to school even with the friendship challenges and a different country every term WOW!.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Exactly. A great theme for a book and full of challenges.
      ERin

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  11. ERin...well, it IZ ...YUR BED !!!! hope ewe R well, happee, healthee and cauzin trubull !!! ♥♥♥

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, I shall check to see if trouble is in my ancestral name. Yup, appears twice in fact, MOL
      ERin

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks. I do like to spread the love as much as my sleeping body beautiful.
      ERin

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  13. That sounds like another excellent book sweet Princess and you do look most comfy!

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    1. Thank you. The kids get most of the good books. A shame more adults don't share them, too, as read-alongs or for their own pleasure.
      ERin

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you. That will please it, knowing it is appreciated.
      ERin

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  15. She has room enough as far as we can see, ERin...MOL...Love your book review and that name Mousedale sounds so familiar๐Ÿญ๐Ÿ˜ธDouble Pawkisses for a Happy Week ahead๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜ฝ๐Ÿ’ž

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    1. Mousedale did strike a chord with me, too. Not sure where it is, but I'm going to pay it a visit when I do; out of courtesy, naturally.
      ERin

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  16. Well that is a great selfie of the other side of what we usually see...LOL!

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    1. That's what I thought Plus I hadn't done my teeth so thought best not show my whiskers until I had.
      ERin

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  17. Hi Erin and Mrs.H! I had a delivery from Amazon today and know it must have been from you. I checked through all your old posts and saw you reviewed "The Cat Who caught A Killer" last year on our Wedding anniversary when we were on a cruise. The author's name rang a bell and I saw it was this year also on our anniversary when we were on a cruise that you reviewed the latest book in the series. I was sure I had an email for you but apparently not. I don't have a Twitter account either so the only way I can thank you is via your comment form. Thank you so much, it was a lovely surprise.
    It is just right to read sitting in front of the log burner during this horrible weather.

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    1. Yes, that would be Mrs H's doing. She did mention she'd see if could rustle up a copy ๐Ÿ™‚. Enjoy the cosy read!
      ERin

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  18. Another full tail shot, ERin! Around here, we call that the back of disrespect.

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