Review Detail

Secret Letters Featured
Young Adult Fiction 3067
A Mystery that Holds the Attention
(Updated: June 25, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I jumped into this Victorian-era mystery like hot on a grill. Dora, the female main character on a mission to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes for a sleuthing-filled life, is easy to latch on to. She’s feisty, unhappy with the typical life expected of a female in her class, and itching to solve some mysteries while opening up the reality of her past to help clarify who she is and her future. Right after her journey begins, it takes a sharp turn, and she meets the enchanting (and enchanted) Peter Cartwright, a young fellow with similar plans of his own. Together they end up forging a friendship while solving what looks to be one crime and ends up being much more.
I instantly—and yes, I mean INSTANTLY—fell in love with Peter’s quick qit, charm, and intelligence. Let's just say I haven't gotten the "tingles" from a character in AGES. The chemistry between he and Dora played out throughout the story beautifully, even though I sometimes wanted to smack Dora for being so brash. Their relationship is woven poetically throughout the case they are working to solve.

The character’s gestures, facial expressions; the noises and scenes surrounding them; and the other details build upon each other in a way similar to the way a detective’s notes might to solve a mystery—and Scheier’s style had a special touch to it I haven’t felt while reading in a long time. I found myself searching for clues to the mystery as I read, which ultimately contributed to the overall well-developed characterizations. Scheier just has a knack for writing out the way someone behaves in all kinds of situations—especially that of a person who is hiding something, be it a fondness for another, indifference, ulterior motives, or a murder. Pick this one up for an intriguing summer read.
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