Book Review: HIGH RISE MYSTERY by Sharna Jackson (Middle Grade Monday)

Genre: Mystery
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book

Synopsis:

Book cover for HIGH RISE MYSTERY: graphic of two Black kids looking up at orange building

The detective duo everyone is dying to meet!

Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there’s been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case?

Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time – until the end of the summer holidays anyway.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

HIGH RISE MYSTERY is a twisty mystery about two sisters who find a dead body on their estate, and suddenly all the evidence is pointing towards their dad. It was a super easy, super fun read to breeze through, trying to see if I could piece together the mystery alongside the sisters.

This is not a mystery in fancy homes and grand gardens (a la Agatha Christie) but rather in three high rise blocks (The Tri), so all the suspects are living atop one another. It gives it a claustrophobic, urgent feel because it could be any of their neighbours, so what’s to stop there being another body? Or their dad being framed?

Plus the sheer heat of a London Summer adds another layer of discomfort. It’s so oppressive. You can just imagine how much a crowded tower block with not enough money to be properly maintained will smell in the heat – particularly if there’s not just bins not being collected but also a dead body down there too.

It’s quite an interesting narrative style. Only one of the sisters narrates, and it’s full of bullet points and snippets (like a line of two in a different font) from the investigation documents they keep. It took me a while to get used to it, but it does very well at efficiently getting information across and showing the differences in how the sisters think. Nik (the narrator) is very methodical and determined to follow the rules. Norva is more instincts based (feeling things in “her waters.”)

There is a sequel, which is certainly going on my TBR.


Read my reviews of other books by Sharna Jackson:

Standalones:

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