by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Myrtle Hardcastle is considered an unusual child by most adults. Being fascinated with science, police investigations, toxicology, and other things considering unfitting of ladies of quality will do that.
When Myrtle’s neighbor suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances, Myrtle instantly assumes that some sort of foul play is afoot. And who better to investigate the murder than Myrtle herself?
With her trusty governess Miss Judson at her side, Myrtle is determined to solve the mystery and bring the murder to justice.
Oh my goodness. This book was fabulous. I practically read it in a single sitting.
Myrtle is an amazing character with a fabulous character voice. I loved all of her various footnotes sprinkled throughout the story and the couple of times she broke the fourth wall. Her narrative voice instantly grabbed me and was a pleasure to read.
All of the other characters in the story were great as well, and were wonderfully developed. Even Peony, the cat, is given great character development. Also, the interactions between Myrtle and Mr. Blakeney were hilarious.
The plot was well paced, and sprinkled with twists, turns, and the occasional red herring. It was a well done mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s almost like a middle grade Agatha Christy novel with a 12 year-old main character.
I also loved all of the various historical tidbits that were slipped into the novel, such as the fact that fingerprints weren’t considered valuable evidence yet.
Honestly, this book would be a five-star read for me, were it not for the handful of times the adult characters blasphemed during the story.
Cautions: four blasphemies; mentions of poisoning **
**Please note that it has been a while since I read Premediated Myrtle, and I did not take notes of cautions while reading it. However, these are the only cautions I remember.