Mollie Mack – Private Detective by Linda Dobinson – a great read for younger people!

Mollie Mack – Private Detective by Linda Dobinson

This book, despite being very firmly set in the present day, reminds me of the excellent children books of past times, when excitement, crime solving and much more was within the range of any self respecting nearly twelve year old. Mollie Mack is a private detective, and a resourceful, clever and intelligent one too! From her locked desk drawer with carefully organised case files to her impressive pursuit skills. Mollie is the sort of role model for young people that doesn’t depend on screen time to succeed, even though she uses facebook responsibly for research purposes. Written in easy to read language, there is plenty to interest the younger reader here – from cats to cooking, low tech crimes to disguises, missing goldfish and ambitions. While it may push realism for a fussy adult, this book is firmly aimed at those pre-teenagers who wish life in their area was a bit more exciting. I found it exciting stuff, and can imagine it would appeal to what are sometimes called “Middle Grade” young people. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and write about this book, and imagine which of my children would have enjoyed it, and how it could be read in a classroom setting when some of the classics failed!

Mollie lives with her parents on an estate. She seems to be very self reliant  for an eleven year old, finding meals for herself and spending a lot of time considering the running of her own business, for which she has business cards and an office (part of the garden shed). She has a kitten called Clarabel who sometimes takes over describing what she sees, along with another kitten who lives locally. She is very organised, and takes a backpack with her detective equipment in when she is out on a case. She reassures clients with missing items or pets, and works out how best to help them.This is a world of polite people who are generally good natured, and yet there are still risky moments as things get very exciting. 

Twenty- first century fans of the Famous Five and similar crime busting adventures will enjoy this book immensely. Linda has created a hero for younger people in an enjoyable book which retains a hold on reality and will prompt many daydreams of detecting minor cases for young readers. Mollie Mack is obviously the detective to watch!