Book: Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar
Author: Tommy Davy
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Book Source: Provided by Novel Publicity Book Tours
Category: Youth Fiction (mystery)
Style: easy, approachable style, kid-friendly
Synopsis from GoodReads:Eleven-year-old Cora Flash is ecstatic when she finally convinces her mom to let her take a train ride by herself to visit a relative in the mountains. Once on board, Cora meets a cast of intriguing characters, and stumbles upon her very own mystery: A valuable diamond has gone missing, and only one of her fellow travellers could have stolen it. It's up to our novice detective to solve the crime before the train reaches its destination—or the thief reaches Cora. This is the first book in the 'Cora Flash' series.
My Take:Cora Flash engages, entertains, and connects, but Tommy Davy carefully avoids condescending to his audience. He manages to address concerns of parents over violence and language but still provides the sense of adventure kids are looking for. The mystery intrigues, the clues skillfully placed, the villain probably unexpected for a child, and the caper inventive and well-executed. He accomplishes all this, and a bit of peril to boot, while Cora (and the reader) stay safe and sound. While laws are broken, threats made, and plots discovered, Davey spurns the sinister and seamy.
Davy manages to step into a tween's world and her shoes and embraces such a child's sensibilities. The mobile phone she wears on a lanyard around her neck keeps her connected to her mother, but Cora exerts her independence in choosing what, when and how to communicate. Cora freely roams about her world, poking into places she doesn't belong, engages in a bit of mischief and a bit of skullduggery, and becomes the object of the villain's machinations. He even manages to squeeze in a bit of "gross factor", something every child seems to love or love to hate.
All that said, Cora's world is neatly confined to the three or four cars at the end of the train, a kindly detective takes her under his wing, and parental figures at either end of the line anchor her safely and securely. At the same time, Cora is self-assured, inquisitive and independent. She solves problems in a distinctly 21st century manner to which tweens today can relate. In the same token, Cora uses her technology at hand as tools to engage the world around her, rather than escape from it, a pretty important point, in my opinion.
Bottom line: While not quite Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, Mr. Davy accomplishes what he set out to do: provide an engaging story for tweens, a little bit scary, with a lot of adventure and the opportunity to stretch their sleuthing skills. His next book looks just as promising. I would let my granddaughter read this book, which is saying something.
And now, the Giveaway!!
Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:
Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Cora Flash and the Diamond of Madagascar? Well, there are two ways to enter...
- Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Cora Flash tour page.
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
a Rafflecopter giveaway