Book Review: Mystery Club 1 – Secret Clues by Fiona Kelly
Do you love mysteries? In that case, the first book in Fiona Kelly’s Mystery Club series will charm you with its wit and plot. This book is written for teens but who even cares about the book age limits. I’m adult and I will read books meant for teens if I want! The story is quick to read and doesn’t lack in the mystery department. Can you solve the clues before our three brave girl protagonists?
Why did I read the first Mystery Club book?
I was visiting my local library after a too long time and ended up walking through the teen section. There were so many memories between those shelves. Nights spend reading secretly under my blanket and early afternoons sitting on the floor of library trying to decide what to read next. Already then I had too many options and not enough time. The world is full of books and I will never read all of them. That’s sad.
I’m not that kind of reader who picks same books time after time. I would rather read new stories all the time but now something was different. The nostalgia took me over and all I wanted to do was read all the books I used to love. Fiona Kelly’s Mystery Club is one of those series I couldn’t stop reading book after book. I decided to start a project where I try again the books I used to love and look them from a totally new grown-up point of view.
The plot of Secret Clues
Holly Adams moves to a small town from London and decides to start mystery club to find friends. Because of bad luck and evil schoolmate, only two girls show up to her newly founded club. Careful Tracy Foster and wild Belinda Hayes wouldn’t be more different from Holly but their love for mysteries makes them friends quickly. Then they find a replica of old painting amongst their school’s files and suspicious things start to happen around the town. The club that only meant to read mysteries end up being part of one themselves!
About the author Fiona Kelly
When you start to investigate authors of your favorite books (or the writers of your favorite movies/TV shows), there will be fun coincidences. As a teen, I just read books and never really got too much into the writers. Now as an aspiring writer these things interest me more and more after every book I read. So, after starting to read Mystery Club series again I, of course, wanted to know if the author Fiona Kelly had written anything else. For my surprise, no one seems to know who she is, and it has been speculated that behind this pseudonym is several writers. When I see mystery, I won’t leave it alone before I find answers.
So, who is Fiona Kelly? After an easy search on Goodreads, I found out that Fiona Kelly has also written teen mystery series named The Mystery Kids. Behind that pseudonym in the first book of the series is a gentleman named Allan Frewin Jones. I googled him and found an official website. On his website in the books written I saw surprisingly the cover of Fiona Kelly’s first mystery club book. Is Allan Frewin Jones Fiona Kelly? To quote his website (11.4.2018) it says:
“If you find one of these books, take a look inside and you will often spot the words “with special thanks to…” If you see my name attached, that means I will have had a big hand in writing that book.”
All in all, it probably means that there are several writers who have made these books as a collaboration. Do you want to know what another surprise I had while investigating Allan Frewin Jones’ website? He has been part of writing another of my favorite teen book series Internet Detectives under the pseudonym Michael Coleman. I had no idea! Now I have a project to search his other books and give them a go.
My opinion of the Secret Clues by Fiona Kelly
If I read this book now for the first time, I doubt I would like it. But because I read it about ten years ago and now every memory is just full of nostalgia, the story made me fall in love all over again. Maybe it’s not for us older folks but all teens who love mysteries should read it! Yes, the story is from before the computers and all-knowing Google but it shouldn’t bother you. The story has aged well and you won’t even notice the different decade.
I can see why I liked this series so much when I was younger. The girls are well written and full of power. No one can stop them! But even they aren’t perfect. There are scary moments and fails but when it’s the right time every one of them knows how to be brave. This book is in my opinion perfect example of how to write strong girl characters for teens. With a touch of mystery!