Book Review – Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye by Chelsea Campbell

Harper Madigan has a detective agency at his school. And he is very serious about that. He even wears a trench coat, he is that serious. Somehow, everything is going wrong at the moment. The vice principal assigned him a partner, something that he really does not need. He just can’t find something to proof that his arch enemy is a criminal. And Danigal, who he used to be very close to, asks for his help. If Harper can’t prove that she is innocent, she’s going to be expelled! Who pushed the theater diva? And how is the powerful PTA involved? They control everything at this school, after all.

After hearing what this book was about, I had to read it. I’m really, and I mean really, into kid detective stories. I love Disney’s Fillmore! , Veronica Mars and I own almost 150 The Three Investigators cassettes. I’m normally not a huge fan of crime fiction, but this book sounded just awesome. I ended up being a little bit disappointed.

The plot itself was quite good, though a little bit too straight forward for my taste. I hoped there would be more twists and turns, and I hoped the solution would be a little bit more exciting. I was not happy with the solution at all, and I even thought the ending a little too unrealistic, because the evidence was just not enough to proof who did it. At least in my opinion.

As for characters…I was frustrated with Harper, because he just does not want to see the truth. And then, when he finally changes, I just could not buy that. It was a sudden change and just not believable to me. He came across as rather arrogant, which is okay for a detective, but annoyed me at times.

I loved how serious the tone of the book was. However I had hoped for a more humorous tone, something more similar to Disney’s Fillmore!. But that was just my expectation, I can’t hold that against the book.

That all being said, I thought the book was really entertaining. Despite some small concerns, I enjoyed the story and the reading experience. Although I had my problems with the ending, it did open up the possibility of a sequel. And I would totally read that! I would however hope for a more complex plot. I suppose this is planned as a middle grade book. In that case I am sure that the audience can handle more twists and turns!

Read the first two chapters on Chelsea’s website!

Chelsea is not only an author, she knits too! She sells knitted My Little Ponys at her Etsy shop!

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One thought on “Book Review – Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye by Chelsea Campbell

  1. Pingback: May 2012 Reading Wrap Up! « The Book Hunter

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