We catch up with Friday Barnes exactly where we left her at the end of No Escape, pondering a job offer that would allow her to work alongside Ian, her “super-hot, brilliant, emotionally unstable boyfriend”. It’s a big decision but first Friday needs to solve some mysteries. Besides, they’re a good cover story for running away.
‘There’s nothing wrong with running away,’ said Melanie. ‘Not if you’re being chased by a bear or a chainsaw-wielding psychopath.’
Melanie’s brother, Binky, is in Norway. His girlfriend is a princess and the only way to make her father semi okay with their relationship was for Binky to sign up to serve two years in the Norwegian army. The only problem is, he might be getting kicked out of the army and if that happens, it’s goodbye Ingrid.
What mystery does this involve? Dereliction of duty. See, Binky was on guard duty and it appeared he fell asleep on the job but he wasn’t actually asleep. He was knocked unconscious by a polar bear and no one will believe him. Friday thinks the polar bear was framed.
Friday is also busy solving the case of the missing clothes and the case of the missing artwork.
‘I need you to do that thing where you crawl along the floor sniffing things, then stand up and patronise everyone for five minutes before revealing who did it.’
That doesn’t mean there’s no time for playing dress up and dancing. Luckily for Friday, she has an awkward-social-situation ejector button. It works sometimes.
Melanie still managed to snag her fair share of the best lines; when she was awake, that is. Binky just gets more and more adorable every time I see him.
My favourite character in this book, though, was Arthur. Anyone who hides behind a curtain reading a book because there’s a social gathering going on is my kind of human being.
‘You are a very strange boy,’ said Friday.
‘I know,’ said Arthur. ‘I try to hide it, but everyone sees right through me.’
Ten books in and I’m still loving this series. I can’t wait for the next one!
Once Upon a Blurb
Friday is not running away. Yes, she did get on a train to Norway without telling anyone where she was going – but she had to help Binky. He may or may not have been attacked by a polar bear. Now he’s facing court martial for dereliction of duty. Obviously, Friday had to drop everything and travel 3000 kilometres to solve the case.
The fact that it’s easier to handle her feelings for Ian Wainscott if there’s a continent between them is just a coincidence. When Friday arrives in Oslo, there are so many mysteries to solve. Is someone trying to keep Binky and Princess Ingrid apart? How can a painting leave a museum when all the doors are sealed? And will Melanie persuade Friday to go to the royal ball without wearing a brown cardigan?
If Friday survives her trip to the remote Global Seed Vault, we may find out.