The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel (Nicki Greenberg, Affirm)
Award-winning picture book and graphic novel author and illustrator Nicki Greenberg has turned her attention to middle-grade mystery in her newest work, The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel. Perfect for young crime and historical fiction fans, including those who devoured the Enola Holmes series or The War That Saved My Life, this classic whodunnit is fast-paced and lots of fun. Set on the dazzling ocean liner RMS Aquitania (which was a real ship in the Golden Age of ocean travel) the descriptions of its famous passengers and decadent 1920s-style provisions will enchant young readers who love to savour small details. The glamour of the era is woven into a suspenseful narrative in which Pepper Stark, the daughter of the captain, finds herself entangled in the search for a missing priceless jewel. While there is much entertainment in this thriller on the high seas, the strength of The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel lies in its precocious, likeable young characters who think big and are fiercely loyal. Pepper leads this charge and her character growth is a joy to read as she works to solve the mystery and make things right. She’s the kind of protagonist that young readers cheer for, learn from and remember for a long time.
Karys McEwen is the library manager at Prahran and Richmond High School and the president of the CBCA VIC Branch.