Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery

Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery

R.A. Spratt’s Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery is third in the series featuring the girl detective at a modern-day boarding school. It’s a terrific blend of humor, mystery, and adventure, particularly since this volume starts with more about Friday’s family.

Her parents and four older siblings are all academics, theoretical professors, and their love of detachment from everyday life is astounding. That’s a complicating factor when the book opens, as it seems that Friday’s mother has been kidnapped. Yet it explains a lot about Friday’s character, as everyone who meets the family suddenly finds her lack of social knowledge much more understandable. She could have been much worse!

There’s a new student at school, and she’s a Norwegian princess. And there’s a thief, the Pimpernel, who leaves calling cards, plus a missing letter from Marie Curie, a treasure hunt past a vicious dog, a search for someone taking paparazzi photos, and a championship polo match.

Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery

Big Trouble is a quick read for an adult, but I love the breezy tone and how many crazy but eventually explainable events happen. Plus, there’s a passing knock at one of my favorite mystery series:

Friday sat in the back row reading a Dorothy L. Sayers murder mystery in which the victim had died from being forced to listen to loud bell-ringing. Friday found this highly improbable.

You and me both, Friday. (It’s The Nine Tailors, by the way.) Big Trouble is funny and charming and enhanced by adorable, caricature-style illustrations by Phil Gosier. I like spending time with Friday and her friends.

The next in the series, No Rules, will be out in August. Big Trouble ends with a particularly culturally timely cliffhanger. (No, it’s not being suspected of terrorism; that was the second book!)

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