Hi bookies (my fellow avid book readers),
What have you been reading? Well, I just finished reading Super Quick Mysteries by Andrew Stanek. No, it isn’t a super short book. I think it is a decent-sized book. It is a collection of short stories with different mysteries reminiscent of Encyclopedia Brown. Before I launch into the full review, let me share the facts:
Title: Super Quick Mysteries
Author: Andrew Stanek
Genre: Mystery, Short Stories
So now that you know the facts, you’re probably thinking “Ok, already. Bring on the rest!”. To which I respond “Ok”. If you have read the Encyclopedia Brown stories, you are already familiar with the layout this book will use. (In fact, that is where the author got his inspiration for this book.) You are introduced to the characters, a mystery arises, you are presented with the clues, and all of a sudden the main character knows the answer to the mystery. How did he get the answer? You can verify that on the following page, which contains the clues the main character used to solve the mystery and, of course, the answer to the mystery.
As with the Encyclopedia Brown books, the main story is actually the cases. So while you do get to know a little about your characters, there is not much in the way of character development and the little that there is will be wrapped up neatly at the end of the book.
The cases are pretty simple. At first I felt like the style was too boring. The first few cases presented all the clues in a list sort of format. Think detective notes. Or the straightforward facts I always present before the actual review. Rather boring, right? However, the author changes up the style for the rest of the cases and tells them in a story versus a list.
The cases weren’t hard. After the first few cases, I got a sense of which were the important clues and could accurately guess the answer to the mysteries about 75% of the time.
Basically, I think this book is the story equivalent of doing a crossword puzzle (or sudoku) for relaxation. On the plus side, you can get an electronic copy of this book for less than a dollar! If I were to recommend it to someone, I would recommend it to kids around 4th-6th grade. It would encourage them to develop their logic and reasoning skills. I don’t think it will be a huge hit for adults, though, which is the intended audience. I give it a 2/5. Fair, but I would like more plot and/or character development.
So bookies, what do you think about mysteries? Do you have a favorite “Mystery” author? Or do you prefer a different genre? Let me know in the comments!