Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Egyptian Mirror

Bedard, Michael. 
The Egyptian Mirror
May 20th 2020 by Pajama Press 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

This review posted earlier, but the cover has been changed, and the publication date was moved up, so here it is again!

Simon's neighbor, Mr. Hawkins, has broken his leg. Since he is all alone in a large house, Simon and his mother are taking meals over and checking on the gentleman. Mr. Hawkins had been an archaeologist, and collected a vast number of historic mirrors, and turns out to be rather fascinating. Simon enjoys visiting with him, reading his books, and learning a bit of history. There is one mirror with quite a back story, and when Mr. Hawkin's passes away, it seems integral to the mystery that develops. Simon and his friend Abbey find the mirror and bring it into the house, and Lucy, a niece of Mr. Hawkin's wife's, appears as the heir to the estate. She is a bit creepy, and has an unhealthy hold over the neighborhood. Simon's health takes a serious downtown; he is fatigued and feverish, and has bouts of vertigo so severe that he misses most of the school year. He and Abbey try to solve the mystery of why Lucy wants the mirror, and find out some magical but evil things about her and her connection to the mirror.
Strengths: This was a shivery sort of mystery; not a lot happened, but it was all very intriguing and sucked me right in. Simon and Abbey were both great characters, and I especially love their interactions with their younger siblings. The mirror collection, and Mr. Hawkin's house, will appeal to readers who like classic fantasy mysteries with old English manor houses. I love anything with an Egyptian component; Curry's The Egyptian Box (2002), LaFever's Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (2007) and Hoover's Tut (2014), Northrop's Tombquest series (2015), and Egypt is still part of our 6th grade social studies curriculum.
Weaknesses: The cover could have been better, and Simon does spend a lot of time under the weather.
What I really think: I may buy this because I enjoyed it so much, but fear it will not circulate well. It's a bit reminiscent of The Alarming Career of Sir Richard Blackstone, which has not gone out very much. The new cover will certainly help.

Ms. Yingling

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