What an amazing week for reviews! We would like to thank Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews and Susan Milby at Loves 2 Read for taking the time to review The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow. It was wonderful to hear your reflections on Fairday and her adventures with the DMS!
Reviewed by Detra Fitch
Fifth grade has already started, so Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled about her family suddenly relocating to the small town of Ashpot, Connecticut. Fairday is used to the faster pace of Manhattan. The awful part is that Fairday can no longer see Lizzy Mackerville every day. Lizzy has been Fairday's best friend since first grade. She is also the only other member of the Detective Mystery Squad "DMS". (Oh, others have tried to join the DMS, but none had been able to answer the riddle necessary to enter their elite squad.) However, their parents have promised that Fairday and Lizzy can get together at least once a month.
To Fairday, her situation is made worse by the fact that her new family home is what the real estate agent calls "a fixer upper". It is an enormous Historical Victorian house with three stories. The entire thing is crumbling, but her mother is an interior designer and is determined to restore the Begonia House to its former grandeur.
The Begonia House has sat vacant for nearly fifty years. Fairday quickly finds out why. She hears strange music coming from behind a padlocked door. Once it is unlocked, Fairday climbs a spiral staircase and into a secret room. It is here that Fairday stumbles upon the next mystery for the DMS to solve. It involves a strange picture with a desperate message written on the back, a brass key, an ancient mirror that reflects off images, and some paranormal activities.
As the DMS begins to dig deeply into the history of Begonia House, Fairday and her friends realize that it is not a happy one and that the danger surrounding them is deadly serious. Would they be up to the challenge?
**** FOUR STARS! If you are looking for a normal, mundane, every day type of who-dunnit, then you are in the wrong place. Authors Haight and Robinson have shrewdly written a mystery guaranteed to entice its young readers. The character of Fairday is friendly, curious, eager to learn, and audacious. The way she thinks and reacts to the people and events around her make Fairday a terrific role model for today's kids. Littered throughout the book are several illustrations to help readers envision Fairday's surroundings more easily. Each chapter has a title, hinting at things to come.
As the reader, I found my attention hooked immediately. I am always impressed by a story that grabs me quickly. The plot moves along at a good pace. Clues and spooky events slowly build up suspense. Eventually the paranormal enters the story, making it even more irresistible. Move over Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys! The Detective Mystery Squad is stepping into the spotlight. Fantastic! ****
Loves 2 Read
I fell in love with the characters in this book from page one. Fairday and her family are unique, entertaining, and completely believable. I enjoyed getting to know Fairday, her family, Lizzy and the kids in Fairday's new school. The mystery and suspense is perfect for young readers (and even older ones like me). The writing flows and I never had to re-read or pause to figure out what was going on. I love that the story is easy to read and understand and yet written in such a way that kids ages 10 through teen will enjoy the story, the characters and the adventure. I am anxious to see what happens next! The story ends perfectly with a mystery solved, yet with more adventure and mystery yet to come! Excellent job Jess and Stephanie! A definite 4.5 stars from this book lover!
On a personal note - I was trying to think of a creative way to entice my 10 year old son to give this book a try. So, I pretended that the spiders on each page were "scary" to me (I would fake shudders and quickly close the page repeatedly to make him laugh and tease me). Now, all 3 of my kids tease me about the spiders every time they see the book. - lol
I highly recommend you give this book a try - as I've found out from the blog, this is the first book of a series of five. I can't wait to read the next mystery solved by the DMS team!
Fear not the unexpected.
The Begonia House keeps its secrets. Everyone knows that. Everyone that is, except for clever eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow, whose family has just moved in. Being the Senior Investigator in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, she’s ready to uncover the mysteries hidden within the strange manor. As the investigation gears up and the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, the DMS enters into a world where anything is possible, and the danger is most definitely real. Follow along with Fairday and her friends, as “spooky” meets “lovely” in this twisting tale of dark secrets and hidden pasts.