Review: The London Eye Mystery

September 5, 2011

Dowd, S.  (2009).  The London Eye mystery.  New York, NY: Yearling.  336 p.  978-0385751841.  $7.50.  Gr. 5-8.

When Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim goes up in the London Eye, they expect him to come down thirty minutes later.  He doesn’t.  Hoping to find him before something goes wrong, Ted and Kat are on the case.  They benefit from Kat’s rebelliousness and Ted’s unique view of the world due to his Asperger’s syndrome.  Dowd wrote a heck of hook and first chapter.  Readers will be drawn into the mystery right away.  Then they are slowly introduced to Ted’s voice, which often focuses on the more mundane aspects of the case and Ted’s interest in weather patterns.  It all works quite well in an enjoyable, edge-of-your seat thriller that clips right along.  Some readers may have trouble with British vocab, but it adds to the authenticity of place.  And even Ted has trouble with some of the phrases.
Additional Thoughts:
This is a nice mystery. Even cynical mystery fans (me) will have trouble solving the crime.
Adult fans of thing like Monk or Psych or any USA show will probably enjoy this.
Ted is a great character and getting inside his mind is a real treat. He doesn’t think like us and that is what makes the book so interesting. It reminds me of a study I saw once, maybe in a Psych textbook, about a man with autism being shown the movie Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? while hooked up to sensors. His vision is focused on a lightswitch in the background for most of the movie. Why? Um . . . I don’t remember, but I remembered the movie that accounts for something right? Anyway, Ted’s mind works in mysterious and fascinating ways.
Similar titles (from Books and Authors): Anything but Typical – Nora Raleigh BaskinBlue Like Friday – Siobhan ParkinsonChasing Vermeer – Blue Balliett; Brett HelquistThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark HaddonEmma-Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree – Lauren TarshisFather’s Arcane Daughter – E.L. KonigsburgFlight – Elizabeth Stow EllisonMockingbird – Kathryn ErskineNumbers – Rachel WardSammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash – Wendelin Van DraanenThe Westing Game – Ellen Raskin.
Also the aforementioned USA shows . . . most of which are quite good even if they are predictable.

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