My little naming scheme for books suitable for children is quite appropriate for this review.  The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey is a mystery novel.

Statistics
Checkouts: New to the library
Typical reader: Children who enjoy the Harry Potter series, or like mysteries
Source: Superiorland Preview Center

Synopsis: Oona Crate is a Natural Magician, born with the rare gift of being able to cast magic at will, rather than having to learn to do so.  But due to some unfortunate past events surrounding her magic use, she wants to give up being her uncle’s apprentice and become a detective like her father was.  The evening she signs the paperwork to give up her apprenticeship and meets the candidates for the position, however, her uncle is stabbed by a magical dagger and disappears.  Whodunit?  Is her uncle, the Wizard of Dark Street, still alive?

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

I must say, I love this cover.  It actually completely fits the story!  You have Oona and her magical pet raven, Deacon, on her shoulder, in front of the Wizard’s house.  The house is pretty much just as the prose describes it, complete with all its eccentricities.

The pace of the book is a bit slow, particularly for the first third of the book, and some young readers may be put off by that.  In place of a fast-paced read is some great world-building.  I’m almost hesitant to describe it, because so much of the effort is put toward the setting that to do so seems like a bit of a spoiler.  The gist of it is that Dark Street is a magical location that for one minute every night, when the clock strikes midnight, a huge set of gates opens to connect Dark Street to the mundane world.

Once you do get into the meat of the plot, it’s a pretty good mystery.  Or rather, it’s a pretty good set of mysteries, possibly intertwined.  I’m not much of a reader of this sort of novel, but the twists and added information kept me guessing until the caper was solved.

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