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The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens - Review

Friday, March 6, 2020

I don't know if you know about this book, so my review will include an explanation of how it came about. I bought it on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - I had an Amazon voucher to use and as you know how much I love Robin Stevens, it was a crime that I hadn't read this book yet. I immediately picked it up, because I really wanted to read it.

The somewhat confusing back story to this book is that it is a sequel to a book by another author. Siobhan O'Dowd wrote a book called The London Eye Mystery, starring Ted Spark, his sister Kat, and their cousin Salim. Salim goes missing and Ted and Kat have to detect to find him. Siobhan then made notes about a sequel book called The Guggenheim Mystery, but before she could write it, she died. Robin Stevens was approached to write the book, using only the characters and the title.

I knew Robin would have done the book justice, and she has. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered The London Eye Mystery on eBay immediately so I can see where these characters originated and read Siobhan's work. I will probably end up picking it up really soon!

Okay so Ted and Kat live in London. Ted is twelve, Kat is fourteen. Ted is autistic, although the word isn't used, which would be my one tiny criticism of the book. He is obviously not neurotypical, and there are lots of pointers to say that he is autistic - so why not spell that out clearly? Quite a few books do this and it really annoys me. It's okay to be autistic!

Salim and his mum Gloria used to live in Manchester, but after Salim went missing Gloria is very over-protective and the two of them have moved to New York, where Gloria is a curator at the Guggenheim Museum. Ted and Kat and their mum go to visit Salim and Gloria, and on their second day there, they visit the Guggenheim. While they're there, the fire alarm goes off and everyone evacuates the building. When the fracas dies down, it becomes obvious that In The Black Square by Kandinsky has been stolen.

Gloria is absolutely distraught. Things get worse the next morning when Gloria is arrested for the theft. Her credit card was used to order a removals van to pick up a crate from the museum on the morning of the theft. The police are convinced she is guilty, but Salim, Ted, and Kat aren't convinced. They set out to prove Gloria is innocent, and have to go halfway across New York City to do so.

The characters in the book are lovely. I really liked Ted, and I liked Kat as the exasperated older sister. I loved how there were no parents involved - Mum and Gloria are absent for the vast majority of the book. New York is described beautifully and the museum itself is described so well that any kid reading this will be able to imagine it. I liked the mystery, and I thought it resolved itself really well. I'm giving this a well deserved five out of five - it sits really well alongside Robin's other books.

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