Title: Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
Author: Sherrill Joseph
Series: Botanical Hills Detectives Mystery #1
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release Date: January 10, 2020
Book Source: Trade Paperback
_“Kids, get ready to meet your new heroes! In Book 1 of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series, four modern-day teen sleuths take on ancient Egypt and those intent on stopping their investigation… . _
_World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped. Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored. _
A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.” – Amazon
Sometimes I wish I had children, so I could share books like Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph with them. Good thing I have a god-daughter that I will pass this book onto when she gets to advanced elementary or middle school level in her reading!
Nutmeg Street really took me back to my childhood in regards to how much it reminded me of the various mystery series I read. But before I get to those ones, I want to mention the adult series Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters. I feel like Ramses’, Amelia’s son, childhood would have been a lot like those of Lanny, Lexi, Moki, and Rani.
Sure there’s Egypt playing such a large role in both series, but more so how intelligent, inquisitive, and polite the kids are.
Also in the Amelia Peabody series, the family had servants and tutors, and Lanny and Lexi have a live-in cook and a 25 year old tutor who also acts as their chauffeur with his Mustang that the kids feel give them a cool factor.
As for the children’s series it reminded me of, I would have to say Nancy Drew and Scooby Doo. I didn’t read the Boxcar Children or the Bobbsey Twins, but I feel like there could be nods to these series too in the Botanical Hills series, and one obvious one is the twins in this series and in the Bobbsey Twins.
As for reminding me of Nancy Drew, the biggest thing is the group of friends aspect. And I smiled when the criminal was revealed, because although they didn’t say it exactly, there was a Scooby Doo expression along the lines of, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”
At times the Botanical Hills series has a bit of an old-timey feel, but I think parents will really appreciate that if reading this with their children. And even though Lanny and Lexi still have a landline at their house, today’s technology is used in the story.
Another great thing about this book that I think parents will enjoy is the way it doesn’t shy away from big words and how well Joseph incorporates defining them into the story. There are also a couple pages in the back of the book with Hawaiian words and pronunciations, since Moki is originally from there. Plus you have all the interesting history about Egypt seamlessly woven into the book. And one last fun thing is Rani and the author both have a form of synesthesia, where they can taste words.
I am really looking forward to Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse out October 20, 2020. What mystery lover doesn’t enjoy reading about a mysterious old mansion, a seventy-year old puzzle poem, dusty secret passages, a hidden gemstone, and a flickering light in a nearby cemetery. And book three appears to be called, Walnut Street: Phantom Rider which may have a cowboy theme. I really think it’s cool how the series seems to showcase different subjects in each book, kind of like the Magic Tree House series.
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