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Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Paperback – August 1, 2012
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"I rate the Cora Flash series five stars. Why? Because it's fantastic, fun to read, and keeps everyone interested. Your children will love it, and even if you don't have kids (like me), you'll enjoy Cora's loving character and how responsible she is."
From the Author
I'd like to introduce you to Cora Flash, the newest detective on the block. She might look like a regular eleven year old, but she has a taste for mystery and adventure that will leave young readers begging for more. In the first book in the series, Cora Flash and The Diamond of Madagascar, Cora finds herself hot on the trail of a world-class diamond thief while on a cross-country train ride. If that wasn't enough, her adventures continue when she arrives in Mount Topaz in the second book of the series, Cora Flash and the Mystery of the Haunted Hotel. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown or Enid Blyton's Famous Five, you will love introducing your children (or yourself!) to Cora Flash. And coming this holiday season, book 3 in the series!
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Cora is an eleven year old who seems to pop up in the middle of mysteries. In this volume, (number two in the series), Cora is visiting her Uncle at a mountain resort hotel he owns and operates. (In volume one she solved a diamond theft while on the cross-country train taking her to this vacation.) There have been ghost sightings and weird things happening at the Hotel and guests are getting scared away and business is in sharp decline. Cora is on the case. There are a couple of suspects with motive and opportunity, some red herrings, some talk about ghosts, (but this isn't really a ghost story), and a lot of bumping around in the night. The book follows the classic manor house style with everyone gathered together at the end for the big reveal. The whole thing is done with style and it truly observes the most honored mystery conventions. I don't see how you could have a "classic" mystery better tailored to young readers.
Cora as a character is very appealing. She is bright, honest and alert. She is polite and curious. Pretty much everything she says or does seems age appropriate so she should be a relatable heroine for a younger reader. She is also friendly, generous and cheerful and completely free of pre-teen angst or drama. She's way too young for the Nancy Drew comparison in the book description, but easily fits into the Enid Blyton Famous Five category. Actually, I had a sort of late Shirley Temple kind of vibe as I read the book. She's not overwritten and the author avoids cutesy bits in favor of sunny and just pleasant bits, which I tend to like more.
The writing is of high quality. Dialogue is effective, descriptions are to the point, the story is clear, scenes are well established. There is little attention devoted to character development or mood, but that's not really the point in this type of mystery. There is the occasional typo or error, but well below the frequency that's par for the Kindle course. Sentences are clear and direct, but more advanced than just short declaratory sentences. I don't pretend to be expert in these things but it seems that the book would offer a fair and satisfying reading experience for a younger reader.
So, this seems like a solid, entertaining and well crafted early reader mystery that offers the bonus of an engaging heroine and additional volumes available for fans. Certainly worth a close look.
Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
I made a connection to the character. My connection is that Cora Flash is adventurous and
creative like the book character Nancy Drew. They both figure out some mysteries with a little help.
Sincerely Julia Robbins
To contact me here is my email firstname.lastname@example.org