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Review of Kat Wolfe Investigates by Lauren St John

by - May 08, 2018

Genres: Children's, Mystery
Pages: 352
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: 17/05/2018
Find The Author: Website / Twitter
Find The Book: Book Depository
(Received free from NetGalley for review)

After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinary-surgeon mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr Wolfe’s new job in idyllic Bluebell Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: they have to adopt Tiny, a huge, near-wild Savannah, who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering. 

 When she starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, her troubles escalate. The owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his fortified, gadget-filled mansion, leaving a half-packed suitcase and a mysterious parcel. The only person who shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play is Harper Lamb, the American daughter of a palaeontology professor. A language and coding whizz, Harper is laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse, the ‘Pocket Rocket’ – Kat’s newest client. What starts out as mystery-solving holiday fun quickly turns deadly for Wolfe and Lamb. When all clues point to an army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day – and their lives?

This is a wholesome enough children's story about a girl and her mum, who move to Devon after a break in at their London home. Kat's mum gets a job there with free housing on top, with just one catch - they have to look after the pet cat. Simple enough! If it wasn't a savannah. Kat takes on a pet sitting job for the summer, thinking it will be fun to look after the neighbourhood pets - until one of the residents goes missing.

 I liked this story in places but I thought that there was just too much of everything - the conspiracy surrounding the missing bird owner was too big, there were too many characters and the book was just too long overall. I pretty bored in some places and pretty confused in others. It wasn't a simple person-goes-missing story so much as a someone-goes-missing-also-there's-a-pumpkin-and-then-there's-the-pet-sitting-and-an-old-lady-might-get-thrown-out-of-her-home-story. Oh and then there's Kat's mysterious grandfather.

"'Lots of parcels have "Private & Confidential" written on them, especially business ones,' said Kat. 'Doesn't mean that they're suspicious.' 'Yes, but they're not all addressed to people who've vanished leaving their special security door unlocked and their luggage scattered across the bedroom floor,' said Harper." 

One aspect I really liked was the relationship between Kat and her new friend, Harper. Harper helps Kat investigate the missing person mystery and she's an amazing hacker, even if she can't get out bed due to the broken legs situation. She's a bit of a rich snob but around Kat she's lovely and I really wish that friendship had been explored more, as it felt like Kat only visited when there was something else to investigate.

 I don't mind stories about kids who save the day, as that's the target audience and which kid wouldn't want to save the day? I did find it completely unbelievable though. Yet again, it was just too big and elaborate when it should have been kept simpler, perhaps to match the setting. I live close to Devon and I got the feeling that the author did not, as the world of the village felt very excluded from the outside world, almost as if it were a cBeebies show like Balamory.

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