When the royal blue diamond, the world’s largest gemstone, goes missing from the State Natural History Museum it’s up to Sherlock Bones and Watts to solve the mystery, even if the main suspect is a ghost. If they don’t, then the museum may close and Bones certainly doesn’t want to be put into storage.
Sherlock Bones is a tawny frogmouth and Watts is a blue Indian ringneck parrot. Both are exhibits in the state Natural History Museum. Bones is, well, bones and Watts is stuffed, so while Bones knows what she says, the reader doesn’t. They’re joined by Grace the raccoon, who is very much alive and in need of chocolate. You’ll also meet Mickey who, you guessed it, is a mouse.
This is a really fun read. I loved the humour, which was appropriate for both adults and children. There’s some enjoyable slapstick humour but there are also some more subtle smiles that adults will appreciate. I loved the jar containing a herring that’s beside one containing a red herring. You’ll also stumble upon some accidental learning, with interesting facts included that don’t detract from the story.
This is a highly illustrated chapter book. I would encourage you to look closely at all of the pictures because there are clues scattered throughout the illustrations that will help you solve the mystery. I also liked discovering other elements that, while not part of the mystery, were interesting, including a hermit crab checking out suitable replacements for its shell.
I particularly loved that this book was written and illustrated by a fellow Australian. Okay, so she was born in America but she moved to Australia in 2007 so I’m claiming her, especially since the focus in the book was on Australian animals. There’s also the requisite “Blimey!”
I can’t tell you how much I loved that the main character was a tawny frogmouth. We have a tawny frogmouth couple who either hang out on our clothes line or hunt in our front yard most nights and I adore them!
I really hope this book is the first in a series because I need to know what mystery Sherlock Bones and Watts will investigate next.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the wonderful surprise in the mail today. I love book competitions! I read an advanced proof copy and I hope nothing changes prior to publication.
Oh, and while I’m just a tad outside of the age range for this book’s target audience, that doesn’t stop me from feeling pretty darn proud of myself for finding the clues and solving the mystery before Sherlock Bones and Watts did. 😜
Once Upon a Blurb
Hi there, I’m Sherlock Bones.
Who is Sherlock Bones, you ask? Well, I don’t like to brag, but my trusty side-kick Watts says I’m the greatest detective in our whole museum.
Don’t you, Watts?
Watts … ?
You might not be able to hear Watts, because he’s technically a stuffed parrot, but I always know what he’s thinking.
And right now he’s thinking: Can we solve the mystery of the missing Blue Diamond and save the Museum of Natural History, before it’s too late?