Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Doggone Mystery

Last Chance
Written by: Norah McClintock
Released: January 28, 2012 by Lerner Publishing Group
Summary: A new series from Norah McClintock, five-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction!
When a protest march goes awry and a store is accidentally damaged, Robyn Hunter finds herself on the hook for the mishap. To make amends, she reluctantly agrees to volunteer at an animal shelter for the summer.
Robyn’s terrified of dogs, so working at the shelter is no picnic. But bigger problems surface when she think she sees a boy with a troubled past "stealing" from the donations to the shelter. It turns out that Robyn was wrong about the boy, but now he’s in more trouble with the law and it’s up to Robyn to clear his name.
This novel was originally released in 2006 by Scholastic but is being re-released in the New Year so I’m posting this review now instead of closer to the release date simply because it’s not a “new release”.
I was a fan of McClintock’s Chloe and Levesque mystery series when I was in grade school and so when I saw that she had a new novel on NetGalley I was rather excited to relive a favourite author from my childhood. I’ll admit that I wasn’t hugely impressed by this novel, though, and I skimmed about the last half.
I found that the pacing was relatively slow for what I would have liked and there was an infuriating repetition of scenes where facts were alluded to but were only explained in later chapters when you just about forgot what it even related to. By the third time or so I was more than fed up because there didn’t seem to be a need in the movement of the plot to warrant this omission of details.
However, I do believe that this will be (and is) a great mystery series for the older MG and younger YA audience to get into. This novel in particular covered a lot of issues that kids can come across like judging a person before knowing them, stealing, standing up for what you believe in, and sticking by your friends. The actual mystery was realistic and interesting – it was the reason that I kept reading in the first place.
I’m giving this novel a 5.5/10; I think it was just too young for me.

I received this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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