Max & Maddy and the Chocolate Money Mystery
Alexander McCall Smith & Macky Pamintuan
Knopf, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
lexander McCall Smith, famed for his
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
novels, extends his mysteries for the younger crowd (launched with
) in this new
Max & Maddy
series. The siblings are the offspring of world-class private investigators, Mr. and Mrs. Twist, whose once thriving business was destroyed by the machinations of a villain, Professor Claude Sardine. (he leaves sardines at the scene of his crimes as calling cards). Now the Twists operate a small ice cream parlor, offering really good ice cream in thirty-seven flavors!
he Twists encourage their children's interest in detection. After Max & Maddy win a grand
competition, they're contacted by Swiss banker Conrad Huffendorf to solve a series of bank robberies, offering as a reward either cold cash or (yumm) Swiss chocolate. With their parents' permission, the duo travel to meet the banker, who shares surprising information about the robbers - they're all dogs! Max soon has a plan, which starts with borrowing - and advertising - a splendid St. Bernard named Rudolf, and continues in a romp of an adventure up and down a snowy mountain in a cable car (poor Max is afraid of heights.) They foil their family's nemesis and claim a reward, but are in turn threatened by the nefarious villain. What will he do next?
lexander McCall Smith's story is, as always, imaginative and great fun, while Macky Pamintuan's black and white drawings make it more real and give a sense of people and place. With detection in their genes, I'm sure
Max & Maddy
will have many more engaging adventures.
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