When you were a kid, did you read the "Famous Five" and other books by Enid Blyton, or similar mystery series aimed at your age group? Did you watch them on TV, and did you sometimes play at being part of just such an adventure? I did all of it, and loved every minute.
Hardly surprising, then, that I downloaded "The Mystery of Smugglers
Cove" by Paul Moxham when I found it as a free ebook at Amazon's kindle
shop. Every now and then, I enjoy reading books meant for children or
young people, and I did enjoy this one.
Although set in Britain in the 1950s, the books were all written and
published relatively recently. "Smugglers Cove" is the first book in the
"Mystery" series, and it was published in 2014.
The series has siblings Joe, Sarah and Amy at their core. Together, they
get into all sorts of trouble, but of course always come out victorious
- the Bad Guys are caught, the Good Guys win. Isn't that how we all
would want the world to be like?
In "Smugglers Cove", the three children arrive at the village of
Smugglers Cove to spend the summer holidays there. As the story is set
in the 1950s, there are no computers or mobile phones, and the term
"helicopter parents" does not yet exist - the kids are pretty much free
to do whatever they want all day, provided they are home in time for
But instead of picnics on the beach and bike rides in the countryside,
the siblings get involved in an adventure that finds them exploring an
abandoned manor house, tunnels and coves used by smugglers in the past,
chased and captured, locked up on a boat and riding out a storm at sea
while solving the case of a counterfeiting gang step by step.
As is typical for such stories, adults do play a role, but it really is
the children who do all the hard work and solve all the clues. It was
fun to read, fast-paced, with very few typos - not enough to spoil the
Paul Moxham is Australian, hailing from Melbourne. His website is here.