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Elementary, My Dear Son

Solving crimes and thwarting conspiracies is a total fam jam for Knightley and Son.

Elementary, My Dear Son

BOOK REPORT for Knightley and Son (Book 1) by Rohan Gavin

Cover Story: London-tastic
BFF Charm: Maybe
Swoonworthy Scale: 0...?
Talky Talk: Selectively Perceptive
Bonus Factors: Detectives, Subliminal Messages
Relationship Status: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Cover Story: London-tastic

Sometimes -- often times -- I pick up a book solely because of its cover, as long as its blurb sounds remotely interesting. This was one of those times.

The Deal:

Former hotshot private investigator Alan Knightley has just woken up from a four-year coma, to discover that his now thirteen-year-old son, Darkus, has inherited the detective gene. They'll def. need to rely on their combined expertise, when these two find themselves embroiled in a crazy conspiracy with dastardly villains and a mysterious book that compels its readers to do terrible things.

BFF Charm: Maybe

My knee-jerk instinct is to be Darkus' BFF, because the poor kid's been saddle with the name DARKUS. Seriously?! Darkus?! Why not just call him 'Loner Knightley', or 'Desperate for a Friend Knightley'? Anticipating and avoiding easy, unflattering nicknames should be one of your first acts as a parent! 

Howevs, having a pity friend is almost as bad as having no friends at all. But Darkus is a major smartypants with maturity beyond his years, so I wouldn't mind befriending him anyway. As for us being BFFs, I could take it or leave it, since his non-detective personality traits don't really leap out at me. The boy kind of has a one-track mind (although that track could obvs be worse for a boy his age).

Swoonworthy Scale: 0...?

Darkus doesn't have a love interest, nor does this book set one up for the future -- I'm pretty sure. The only age-appropriate candidate would be his stepsister, and that kind of romance only works for Cher Horowitz.

Talky Talk: Selectively Perceptive

I had no idea how the mystery would unfold, and I was amused by some clever sleuthing from the Knightleys. Although I didn't quite buy that Darkus, a teen detective in 2014, can deduce an entire chain of events from a car scratch and yet have trubs recognizing a set of numbers as an IP address. Or that anyone would actually say "Internet Protocol address" in convo.

Slight quibble aside, this book is solid middle grade mystery. As someone who went directly from The New Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley and The Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries* to Agatha Christie novels, Knightley and Son would have been a welcome addition to my reading list back in the day.

*I never tried Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. Probably because they had 'old' covers. (Told you I'm easily swayed by book covers.)

Bonus Factor: Detectives

As the first family of Neptune has taught us, there's no better crime-solving partner than dear ol' dad.

Bonus Factor: Subliminal Messages

A book with the power to influence reality? Is there one that can give FYA HQ a mountain of money and a flock of shirtless Tim Rigginses? KTHX. 

Casting Call:

I'm taking severe liberties with Darkus' age and height, but I would just really like these two to play father and son.

Asa Butterfield as Darkus

Jason Isaacs as Alan

JUST MARVEL AT THE TWINKLE IN THIS MAN'S EYES. (And pay no attention to him sharing the same face as Lucius Malfoy.) Don't you just want to see him be a charismatic crime solver? Sigh.

Relationship Status: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I enjoyed my time with this book, but it didn't leave a memorable enough of an impression for a second date. I'd totally wish it well if one of my friends wanted to date it, but it just wasn't meant to be with me.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Bloomsbury. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). Knightley and Son is available now.

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.