AGATHA ODDLY THE SECRET KEY, by Lena Jones, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Sept. 3, 2019, paperback, $7.99 (ages 10 and up)
Are you on the lookout for an adventurous new series with an enjoyable young protagonist? Then you need to check out Lena Jones’ Agatha Oddly: The Secret Key.
Thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddlow is a detective. She’s been one for as long as she can remember, but she’s never had a case as big as the one she stumbles across in The Secret Key.
Agatha lives in the Groundskeeper’s Cottage in the middle of London’s Hyde Park. Situated in her attic bedroom full of Agatha Christie novels, she’s spent her entire life surrounded by nature. When London’s water supply becomes polluted, Agatha finds herself in the middle of a mystery even England’s top minds can’t solve.
Agatha Oddly: The Secret Key is delightful fun from beginning to end. And truth be told — I haven’t been this excited about a series in a long time. It first appeared in the UK last year, and it looks like Books 2 and 3 of the Agatha Oddly series are scheduled for release in January and June of 2020.
I received a UK version for review, and I hope the US one doesn’t differ too much. British English is slightly different than American, but I think changing it would remove the charm. After all, Agatha is British. Her adventures play out around London. Context here is key.
I read The Secret Key in one sitting. Agatha is an engaging character who you want to see succeed. Her supporting characters are equally as interested, and I can’t wait to see what other scrapes this young detective gets into.
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