I haven’t read a good mystery in a while, but I was taken with the gorgeous cover of Knightley & Son, and was pleasantly surprised by the great characters and intriguing story inside. I’m a big fan of British mysteries and British humour, and this book is a great combination of both! The London setting and a cast of charming (and funny) characters drew me in from the first page. Rohan Gavin’s skill as a screenwriter is well translated to an exciting mystery full of twists and turns that I could see playing out in my head as I read.
A popular self-help book called The Code seems to be making people do (and see) very strange things. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Darkus Knightly has been visiting his father, once London’s “top private detective,” as he lies in a years-long coma. In an effort to understand what his father was working on before he mysteriously fell asleep, Darkus has painstakingly read and memorized much of his father’s top-secret case files. When Mr. Knightley finally awakes, he finds that his son might be his best asset in solving the sinister case of The Code. Along with a Scottish agent from the Department of the Unexplained and Darkus’s stepsister Tilly, Darkus and his father delve into a case full of conspiracy and danger.
Not only was the plot fast-paced and exciting, but the characters were fantastic! Darkus is a bit of a Holmes-ian genius, and Tilly is a brilliant and unlikely sidekick. Tilly’s bumbling father Clive (Darkus’s stepdad), provides great comic relief, as does Uncle Bill from the Department of the Unexplained. This well-written middle-grade book is a must-read for mystery lovers. Although this is the beginning of a series, the first book managed to have a satisfying conclusion while still making me want to read the next in the series.