Review of “Luna and the Cat Burglar”, by Luna Challis (edited by Steve Challis)

There’s a thief on the loose, and the police force is baffled.  Such a strange modus operandi:  the prowler steals only one small item of jewelry from each break-in, then leaves a note informing the owners as to what has been taken.

The gang of four (Ian, Fuji, Dennis, and Raymond), plus Charlie, are young boys who put their sleuthing heads together to help the police in cases such as this.  They collect a very important clue, courtesy of Luna Challis, their favorite cat.  A clue that changes the entire complexion of the case.

They have friends among the police, and what’s nice is that the adults listen to the kids, consider the advice, and carry it out if feasible.  This time around, however, the authorities aren’t moving fast enough on the tips they’ve been given, and the gang knows that the cat burglar will get away again if someone doesn’t put a stop to it.

They gather their clues, their collective intelligences, and their own cat, and set off to solve yet another case.  But when they find out more about their quarry, the game changes dramatically.

 

This book wasn’t merely a story about a sleuthing cat.  Things come about that make it more of a personal crusade than a simple break-and-enter.  There was a lot of good information about the Somali and their country’s problems.  The organization “Doctors Without Borders” (Medecins Sans Frontieres) is mentioned a few times in regards to the plight of the Somali nation.

But about the book itself:  I loved it.  It was nice to see that the kids aren’t just sloughed off by the authorities; that they listen to the youngsters.  And the kids themselves are respectful, helpful, and concerned about their city and neighbors.  Luna doesn’t get a lot of exposure; after all, she is telling the story.  But she certainly makes the biggest impression–by finding the tiniest of clues.

The gang-plus-Charlie was very realistic.  They didn’t have super intellect or some huge underground computer network to go on; they simply used what they learned and whatever was available on the common Internet etherwaves.  I like that–it’s very down-to-earth and believable.

I didn’t start reading these books at the beginning of the series, but there was enough information in the story that I was pretty much up to speed on who everyone was.  I would definitely go ahead and get the rest of the series too.  Well worth the short time it takes to read them!

 

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