Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a very fun take on the hardboiled detective novel from the viewpoint of a thirteen-year-old Irish boy who takes a correspondence course and gets his detective license. It's very tongue and cheek, but that's a huge part of the fun of it. Colfer takes the story very seriously, in that it's serious enough for Fletcher Moon. He's really in everyway a bonafide detective. However, people don't seem to believe he's what he says he is. Fletcher's heart and soul is in detective work, but everything is rather theoretical until he gets a case that involves him up to his ears.
Kids make me laugh and I love reading middle grade stories because they're never boring. While it's been a long time since I was thirteen, I can identify with the angst of that age, and the aspects that are pretty darn funny.
The cast of characters are awesome. Fletcher is very likable, and to my surprise, Red became one of my favorite characters. He has some built in pathos in his situation as a Starkey, a family known for its criminal nature. Just because he's in the family, he's going to be seen as a criminal, even if he's honest. But it turns out the same person who frames Fletcher framed him, and together they expose a conspiracy that impacts their whole school.
I have tons of respect for Colfer as a writer. He writes books that a child and an adult can enjoy. His humor is accessible enough to entertain young readers, but sly and wry enough to appeal to an adult who likes that bit of sarcasm.
This was a great book to listen to. The narrator is probably Irish, so he had the accents down pat, and each character has a different feel to their vocalization. I would recommend this book for a fun and relatively short audiobook read. I think a family would enjoy listening to this together.
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