The Case of the Vanishing Emerald

The Case of the Vanishing Emerald

Book - 2013
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"Isnt it a bit strange that all these horrible things are happening to Miss Massey now... Just in time to make her think that the curse is working."

Sarah Massey, talented lead actress in Circus Sweethearts, is a mess. She should be dancing on air--after all, her boyfriend just proposed. But she has lost his gift: a beautiful emerald necklace with a storied history. Rumor has it whoever loses the necklace will be cursed, and now everything around Miss Massey is falling apart. She turns to Maisie Hitchins and her dog, Eddie, for help. But when Maisie shows up at the London theater, things only get stranger. Maisie begins to wonder if it's really the lost emerald causing all of these problems, or if someone in the troupe is green with envy . . .

This follow up to the Case of the Stolen Sixpence is the second book in The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins series.
Publisher: Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ©2013.
ISBN: 9780544339279
Characteristics: 168 pages :,illustrations ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Lindsay, Marion - Illustrator

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m
mmcbeth29
May 23, 2015

SUMMARY: Maisie's grandmother runs a boarding house in Victorian London. Maisie likes to solve mysteries. One of the boarders is an actress named Miss Lane. Her actress friend Lila is distressed because a priceless necklace has been stolen from her dressing room. When accidents begin to happen, she also begins to believe in the story that the necklace is cursed. Miss Lane asks Maisie to come to the theater to help Lila and to find the necklace. Will Maisie find the necklace before Lila's fiancé returns and notices the necklace he gave her is missing?

ILLUSTRATIONS: There are simple but pleasant drawings throughout the book which help to move the story along and to add interest.

THE GOOD: The characters and time period are interesting. The book is well written. The mystery is intriguing and the story moves at a nice clip for those who like a quick read.
THE NOT AS GOOD: I had mixed feelings about this book because it is structured like an early reader with a very simple storyline, an easy mystery, and light history. There were holes in the time period such as the fact that Maisie, a "well-brought-up girl", is allowed to be out alone at night. This would never have happened. Some of the language is also not correct for this time period. And yet, the book is advertised for grades 4-7 and is written on about a 5th grade level. The vocabulary at times is on a very high level. So what audience is this book truly written for the way it is structured?

AGE RECOMMENDATION: I think this book is best suited to children in grades 2-3 who are far advanced in their reading level as well as 4th and 5th graders who want a very quick and easy mystery to read.

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