They say she’s cursed…

9781925324976Title: Black
Author: Fleur Ferris
Interest Level:  Year 8 +

Death follows Ebony Marshall. That’s what the whispers say anyway. Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. She’s not just bad luck; she’s cursed; she’s Black.

Once it bothered her, but now Black’s used to being on her own and she’s gotten very good at pushing people away. That is, until a new boy comes to school. He’s interesting and persistent, he won’t be pushed away. But after he’s rushed to hospital, the whispers get louder… Who or what is behind these deaths? Black doesn’t know who to trust and she can’t fight on her own anymore. Can she solve this mystery before death comes for her too? Or is she really cursed..?

A gripping read from start to finish, you’ll find that this thriller has teeth. Enter Black’s lonely world, set in the small Victorian town of Dainsfield, where a young girl’s hope of moving on becomes a fight for survival. In her second thrilling novel, Fleur Ferris grips her audience and causes you to question: who you really trust? If you’re a fan of thrillers or crime novels, then this fast-paced mystery will be perfect for you.

Highly Recommended: **** (ofr)

A mystery with a difference

THE MEDICI CURSE by Matt Chamings (CHA)
Genre: Historical fiction, Murder-mystery
Interest level: Years 9/10

This novel is an intriguing work in which two parallel stories unfold in alternating chapters. The story from the past is set in Florence when Medici was an important patron of the arts. A renaissance painter who is meant to be painting the portrait of Medici’s daughter falls in love with the girl, even though he initially wants to kill Medici (who killed his own father). The story from the present, concerns a family living in Italy; the mother is Italian, and the Dad is a British lecturer working in Florence. He buys a painting then discovers another painting underneath which may be quite valuable. Unfortunately, this concealed work seems to include a curse which begins to take over the modern day family. As the stories unfold, the reader learns the link between the 2 stories – and both are compelling. Can the mystery underlying the love story of the past be solved in time to save the present? The author has created a believable mix of history and adventure; a great sense of place is conveyed, from renaissance Florence to small town Italy now. The mystery is also well paced and entertainingly revealed and satisfyingly concluded.

Recommended (dma) ****

Book Review

The Lady Grace Mysteries: Assassin by Patricia Finney (FIN)
Genre: Historical fiction, Murder-mystery
Interest level: Years 7/8

The narrator of this historical mystery is Lady Grace: a Lady in Waiting at the court of Queen Elizabeth 1, and an independent young woman. When the man who is her intended husband is accused of murder, Lady Grace tries to uncover the truth, with the help of her two friends (a maid & a juggler). Historical elements are woven in neatly eg clothes, makeup, food, habits of the day are described, without overwhelming the fast paced action. An entertaining story with a strong female character at the centre.

Recommended (dma). ***