Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
In this wildly entertaining and interactive adventure, YOU pick which suspects to interview, which questions to ask, and which clues to follow. You pick the path—you crack the case!
Carlos Serrano needs your help—again! His mother has received an urgent assignment to find the missing star of a wildly popular TV show, but she won’t let Carlos investigate!
With his genius friend, Eliza, and her little brother, Frank, along for the case, Carlos is excited to examine the studio for clues and interrogate suspects on the set of Teen Witch, but he has to keep his detective work hidden from his mother's laser-sharp gaze. And just like before, he can’t do it without you!
Can you help Carlos and his friends solve the puzzles and stay out of trouble long enough to save Layla Jay? Or will it be case closed?
What I loved: The fun of a choose-your-own-adventure is in directing the characters, and this book features a ton of choices. Aside from the beginning passage which is several pages, the rest are relatively short, no more than a few pages, before you are able to make another choice or solve a puzzle to find out which page to go to next. The puzzles are a particularly nice touch as they add to the fun with an interactive element to the book (with hints for how to solve if needed). The story is engaging, and the mystery will take readers on the path to solve it.
What left me wanting more: I found that I kept hitting dead-ends without solving the case, so I had to back-track a lot and pick another path. I found that it worked best if I used a bunch of book marks, so I could remember where the last step or two I took was. This could be pretty frustrating but does add to the length of the story the reader experiences in the search to solve the case. Case Closed does not always mean that the case is solved, but that Carlos got caught and kicked off the case or trapped or something else along those lines.
Final verdict: STOLEN FROM THE STUDIO is an engaging middle grade mystery with cool interactive puzzles and choose-your-own-adventure style writing. Recommend for readers who enjoy stories that you dive into and participate in.