Poison Most Vial: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
Available: April 2, 2010
Publisher: ABRAMS, Amulet Press
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Background: Ruby Rose is in a bind; her father is the prime suspect in the murder of a very important forensics lab. She and her friend Rex are on the hunt for clues about the murder, which her father did not commit. Ruby and Rex, with the help of a shut-in, Mrs.Whitmore, are trying to re-trace the steps of all of the people that could have been involved with the murder and why they did it.
Review: This was a very quick read, and I am not really sure of what age group it is intended for. The storyline is wonderful, we start right where the action is, Ruby’s father is being accused of murder and Ruby is trying to sleuth her way through the details to find out who-done-it.
My few issues with the book were that, like I said, I am not sure what the target age group is. If is for young readers, some of the information is a little dry and wordy, for example there are places where the author goes into the scientific names and properties of poisonous plants, and how various equipment in the lab is used. I think the best attempt at this making this information more kid friendly was an example of mass, the author conveyed this through blowing beads across a tray, but otherwise the remainder were dense. If it is for an older youth, I think the main characters seem a bit too young for the teen reader, they are 8th graders. (Upon searching around, I have found that it is geared for ages 9-13)
Target audience aside, I am a twenty-something that loved this read. I think that the science inlaid was nice for older readers, and the action and conflict was at the right level throughout. I love a good mystery from time to time and this was a fast paced one. Ruby and Rex were very funny kids, I think that Ruby’s father gave her a little too much leeway as her parent, but I think that her resourcefulness was very Nancy Drew. A fun read.
**ARC from Netgalley/ABRAMS, Amulet Books-- Publication date 4/1/2012**
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