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The Red Coat: A Sophie Collins Mystery (Sophie Collins Mysteries) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 9, 2015
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If you need a good afternoon read that is smart, satisfying, and superb then you have come to the right place! Madge Gressley takes you on a journey that puts you in Tuck Point with Sophie and Old Man Johnson! You will be so wrapped up in her characters that you won't want the story to end!
This book leaves you in a good mood with your fist pumping the air and a "Wooohooo" coming from your mouth! Take a chance on Sophie and I promise you won't be disappointed!
After finding a discarded coat in the dumpster with a mysterious object in one of its pockets, Sophie is accosted by the coat's former owner. Keeping the object she found in the coat's pocket, Sophie reluctantly returns the coat to its former owner; not realizing that the mysterious object is the key to solving a murder mystery.
Sophie is certainly not Nancy Drew! Having learned some lessons while living on the streets, our edgy and bright protagonist is shrewd and rough around the edges. Sophie's ethics are centered in the gray area; she's a good kid, but she sometimes makes decisions that push the limits on what is considered to be ethical. I like this because it makes her more realistic as most teens tend to test the limits of ethical and unethical behavior.
There are some other interesting characters that play important roles in helping Sophie to solve the mystery. It is apparent that Gressley chose to focus more on developing Sophie's character than on the setting and other characters, but she describes the other characters and setting in enough detail to keep the story relevant and interesting. I feel that if she had developed the setting and other characters further, it would have made for a lengthy novel that her target audience would likely abandon.
The Red Coat strays from the typical goody-goody, know-it-all young sleuth novel to provide readers with a realistic, unique, and likeable protagonist. If you are an adult who misses reading Nancy Drew, or your pre-teen/younger teen is looking for an enjoyable mystery read; I recommend that you grab a copy of The Red Coat by Madge Gressley.