Title: Half-Moon Investigations
Author: Eoin Colfer
Genre: MG fiction, mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon.
Twelve-year-old Fletcher Moon is a private investigator – a real one, licensed (using his father’s birthdate, since they conveniently share names) and with a badge. He’s solved some insignificant crimes, but when his first real case comes along, he’s determined to make a name for himself – a name other than “Half-Moon,” his nickname. Unfortunately, solving this case requires the help of his classmate Red Sharkey, and everyone knows the Sharkeys are a notorious crime family.
As Fletcher and Red become entangled in strange series of crimes at their school, it becomes evident that the perpetrator is no ordinary criminal – and Fletcher finds himself on the run from the police, trying to clear his name before it’s too late.
Half-Moon Investigations was our most recent choice for read-aloud. I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things about homeschooling is having time to continue to read aloud to my kids, even after they’re reading fluently on their own. Natalie’s course load for high school means that she usually skips our read-aloud time to get started on studying, but the three boys – Noah, age 13; Jonathan, age 12: and Josiah, age 10 – continue to enjoy our bookish breakfasts.
We have recently been on a dystopian kick, reading the Hunger Games and Maze Runner trilogies, and so it was nice to pick up something completely different. One thing that Eoin Colfer knows how to do is tickle the funny bone – especially if said funny bone is residing in a tween or young teenage boy. (I remember lots of bodily-function humor in Artemis Fowl.) We giggled our way through most of this book – the predicaments that Fletcher gets himself into are perfectly plausible and completely ridiculous at the same time.
The mystery was a bit predictable for me, but I don’t think the boys picked up on it until right before the big reveal, which made it satisfying for them. When I said, “The End,” and closed the book, all three chimed up with, “Is there a sequel?” I think that fact is just about the best review an author of middle-grade fiction can ask for.