I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Contemporary Age Range: MG Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
Meet Erin, her puppy Sausage and friends as they swap recipes and pots for clues and culprits and try to solve the mystery of why their cookery club is closing and try to save it for everyone.
Skipton House Community Centre may look ramshackle, but it is soon at the heart of Erin’s life – especially the cooking club. When the building is suddenly threatened with closure Erin and her new friends, Tanya, Frixos, and Sam, form The Cooking Club Detectives. Can they, and their four-legged sidekick Sausage, uncover who the mystery culprit is and save Skipton?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
Ewa Jozefkowicz’s latest offering is another charming read, stuffed full with heart. This time, instead of a story about siblings and how they are often more than you realise, it’s a story about friendship and community. In a time when community centres are closing left and right, and the pandemic has highlighted the levels of food poverty in the country, it was nice to read a book that tackled these issues but still left you with a feeling of hope.
Erin is starting a new school as she’s moved house and makes friends with kids from very different walks of life. There are kids on housing estates like hers who are also concerned about money and very privileged kids with housekeepers. However, they are all united by the community centre, showing just how important the centre is.
The friends come together to save the community centre, bringing the same dash of detective work that was also present in THE KEY TO FINDING JACK. I would say this book is far more contemporary than mystery, as the desire to help out and the focus on community is the core of the book, but these books exist in a grey spot. It’s a really nice place on the fiction spectrum that Ewa Josefkowicz is carving out for herself.
It’s not the sort of sleuthing about, solving mysteries (and breaking and entering, and various other felonies) you usually see in the “classic” mysteries of this age range, like Enid Blyton, but rather sensible and consciously law abiding actions that gets the job done and is far more realistic that the scrapes the Famous Five (etc) get into.
There are recipes of the foods eaten scattered throughout the book, with all the ingredients set out and clear, simple instructions. The ingredients are all pretty easy to find, and to find cheaply, so readers could make some of their favourite recipes mentioned in the book. It’s all very much in keeping with the theme of the book – accessible and easy food that’s no doubt delicious.
Read my reviews of other books by Ewa Jozefkowicz: