Book Reviews, Categories, Uncategorized

Saxby Smart, Private Detective #3 by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley


“By the way, speaking if things that aren’t there, when you get back you’ll find that the handprint has vanished.”

“It’s gone? How?”

“Er, okay, see you tomorrow!”

“It’s the ghost! The ghost! It’s real! Oh my–

“Umm, byeeeee!”

This is the third book in the Saxby Smart series so it’s much of the same as the first two. Saxby an elementary school detective who makes case files of his cases, and asks the readers questions along the way. In each book there are three separate cases.

The first story in this book is called The Pirate’s Blood. This one involves a mysterious handprint that may or may not involve the ghost of a pirate. This one is a little different in that Saxby isn’t right all the time. I really enjoyed that because I feel it makes it more realistic. The mystery itself was fun, and I guess it right which is cool.

The second case is called The Mystery of Mary Rogers. It’s a mystery that involves arson and being two places at once. This one has a more serious vibe to it. Saxby describes it as the most cruelest case he has worked on. While my first guess, before any clues were revealed, was the right one, I still enjoyed reading it.

The third and final case is called The Lunchbox of Notre Dame. This one takes place on a school trip to Paris. It begins with a stolen memory card. This one was slower in the start, and, for me, was harder to follow along. As a result, I didn’t have as much fun while reading it, but the ending was really satisfying.  

Overall, I enjoyed reading this a lot. It’s a five star book. It might be my favorite so far of the series that I have read. I’m not sure if I will continue the rest of this series. While I have fun with these, I feel like at book four, five, six, it’ll get boring and repetitive, and I don’t want my opinion of these books to go down.

Book Reviews, Categories, Uncategorized

Saxby Smart in the Treasure of Dead Man’s Lane and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley


“I’ve got some homemade spy gear with me.”

“Why do you have to keep bringing spies into everything?”

“Spies are cool.”

“So are fridges, so what? We are not spies. This is detective work.”

This is the second book in the Saxby Smart, Private Detective series. Like the first one, it follows Saxby Smart as he solves three cases.

The first case in this one is called The Tomb of Death. It’s about a missing comic. This was my least favorite for reasons that isn’t the book’s fault. Simply put, the person who had the book before me wrote in the early pages who did the crime. So it was hard to be into the mystery when I already knew what happened. 

The second case is called The Treasure of Dead Man’s Lane. It’s about finding a treasure in an old house. I thought this was a fun mystery. It’s different from the others, but I had a hard time with it. In it, it has an old letter where they find clues. It’s in a different font and everything. I had a really hard time reading it, so a lot of time I had no idea what Saxby was talking about. I couldn’t guess any of the answers so that takes some of the fun out of it.

The Fangs of the Dragon is the third and final case of this book. It’s a weird case that involves robbery’s that are not really robbery’s. This was my favorite case of this book. It was a little too lucky guesswork on Saxby’s part, but I really liked how the mystery unraveled. 

All in all I think this still a five star book. It’s such a fast and addicting read that I can’t wait to jump into the third one.

Book Reviews, Categories, Uncategorized

The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files by Simon Cheshire and R.W. Alley


My name is Saxby Smart, and I’m a private detective. I go to St. Egbert’s School, my office is in the toolshed, and these are my case files. Unlike some detectives, I don’t have a sidekick, so that part I’m leaving up to you-pay attention, I’ll ask questions.

Saxby Smart is the best detective in his elementary school. He has his own office set up in his shed where he has his thinking chair and his desk. He makes case files for each of the mysteries he solves. Three of which are in this book. 

The first one is call The Curse of the Ancient Mask. This was my favorite case out of this book. A classmate’s father thinks the mask he picked up in Japan is curse, and Saxby helps them out. I like the whole storyline of this one.

The second case is called The Mark of the Purple Homework. Student’s essays are getting destroyed, including Saxbys. I liked the mystery of this one, and how Saxby’s questions to the readers were set up. It’s different than the others, and it’s a lot of fun.

The third case is called The Clasp of Doom, and it’s my least favorite. While I still enjoyed myself, it was mainly because I like the writing style. The mystery was a little boring to me.

This is a children’s book aimed at grades 3-6 I would say. But I still had a blast reading it. It’s slightly unique I would say because the book invites the reader to participate. Saxby regularly pauses his story to ask the reader if they have figured out what he did. He also lists all the facts he has gained periodically through the stories. 

The stories themselves are fun, but not too complicated. That doesn’t mean they are that easy to figure out. While I did figure out two of the mysteries myself, and plenty of the clues, there was one case I couldn’t and other clues I had no idea what he was going on about. It was all completely logical though, and very easily to follow along.

I was surprised by the summary of this book on goodreads. It mentions this series was created to get boys interested in reading. I don’t understand the distinction. While reading, I was slightly impressed how Saxby’s best friend Izzy was super girly and super scientific and smart and helped so much with Saxboy’s case. And it was just a fact. There was no she wasn’t like other girls or anything like that. It was simply her room was pink and glittery and she had all the research Saxby needed, and that was that. I think this book could get a lot of kids reading, not simply boys since it’s a boy narrator. I know this is a minor thing, but it’s something I felt like pointing out.

This is a series of ten books. I currently have the first three checked out, and I look forward to reading the other two soon. It’s a fast, easy, fun read. I also really think that kids would enjoy this, and parents and guardians will love how this book encourages them to think.