________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 38 . . . . June 4, 2010

cover

Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook. Volume 4.

Liam O’Donnell, Craig Battle & Ramón Pérez.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2010.
94 pp., pbk., $11.95.
ISBN 978-1-897349-80-9.

Subject Headings:
Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc-Juvenile friction.
Mystery games-Juvenile friction.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Andrea Galbraith.

*** /4

excerpt:

Max Finder, junior high detective here. Whispering Pits Park is always packed. This year, it was also home to the annual class chess tournament. Alison, Zoe, and I were there, but not to check out the chess.

Brr! This weather gives new meaning to the phrase “icing an opponent”, huh?

Very funny, Max. We’ve got a mystery to solve, so put on your game face.

In this collection of graphic mysteries, Max Finder and Alison Santos keep Whispering Meadows safe from crime with the help of fellow classmate and forensics whiz, Zoe Palgrave. The Max Finder comics appear in OWL magazine and have been collected in three previous volumes, with this volume featuring a different writer/illustrator team. This collection features 10 comics and three short story mysteries. Each comic unfolds over about twenty panels and features both textual and visual clues to help the reader solve the mystery. Five or more clues are placed in each mystery, and they range from subtle to obvious. The written solutions placed just after each mystery fully and clearly explain the clues and their meanings. The three short stories have the same immediate and conversational voice as the graphic mysteries, but they are much longer than the comics.

internal art

     The mysteries are often related to school events, such as field trips, a dance, and the school gossip blog. They range from standard mystery fare, like crop circles and a stolen painting, to the very topical - a mystery at the Vancouver Olympics. The character sketches included at the beginning of the book help remind the reader of key traits of different characters who feature as suspects. The characters are - perhaps necessarily – caricatures, but it is not always the most obvious suspect who is the wrongdoer. The stories encourage the reader to think about character motivation, as well as picking up on more direct clues.

Recommended.

Andrea Galbraith, who lives in Vancouver, BC, is a writer, librarian and parent.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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