Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Amelia Six

Gray, Kristin L. The Amelia Six
June 2nd 2020 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Millie has won a trip to the Amelia Earhart museum in Atchison, and arrives with her father (and his CPR dummy) in a chicken truck after their car fishtails in horrible winter weather. Thea arrives with her aunt in a motorcycle sidecar. Cassie is with her parents, who are busy professionals. Nathalie brings her pet rat, and sisters Robin and Wren are YouTubers. All are interested in flying and aeronautics, and have been chosen by the Ninety-Niners who help run the museum to come and visit. They are met by Birdie, the elderly caretaker, her nephew Collin, housekeeper Edna and chef Perry. They are all pleased to be in the home of their idol, and are having fun completing a scavenger hunt when things start to go wrong. A pair of goggles that are on display before being turned over to the Smithsonian go missing, and Birdie is slipped a drug that makes her pass out. Everyone is a suspect, and the girls set out to solve the mystery. This leads them to explore the house, look into Amelia's history, and question the motives of everyone. Will they be able to find the goggles before they are to be handed over?
Strengths: Amelia Earhart is still a very popular person to research, and her life and story are fascinating. There are lots and lots of good details about her life woven into the story. The mystery is solid, and the inclusion of adults who might be suspects worked well. I thought it would be hard to keep the six nicely diverse girls straight, but it wasn't. Hanging out in the historic house was fantastic! It reminded me a bit of being in the Molly Brown house in Denver, and I seriously thought about planning a trip to Atchison, perhaps swinging by Mansfield, Missouri and Wilder's Rocky Ridge Farm on the way.
Weaknesses: The beginning scene with the father, CPR dummy and chicken truck almost made me put this one down. None of that quirkiness extended to the rest of the book and was just a bit odd.
What I really think: I will purchase this one because it's just so appealing, and despite the Blue Balliet feel to the setting, has some decently dark mystery to it. It would have been better had there been a murder, though. Easier to sell to my blood thirsty eleven year olds! Readers who enjoyed the Earhart themed Behren's The Last Grand Adventure (2018) or the historical home setting of Asselin and Malone's The Art of the Swap (2018)

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