Spy Lady and the Muffin Man

Spy Lady and the Muffin Man

4 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 198 pages
  • 140 x 200mm
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • 9ill.
  • 015278182X
  • 9780152781828

Review Text

There's a difference between writing like a child for a child and writing like a child to amuse a grown-up, and this exhibition belongs by default in the latter department, if anywhere. It's supposedly the log of four siblings - their own exclusive companions? and all on the same level? - aged 8 years old, 9 2/3, 138 months, and twelve and one-half; each has two names (one's a code name) and together they comprise the Secret Society For The Detection And Solution Of Crime. Well, both the criminal and the crime they detect (in that order) aren't, and you know it as soon as you catch on to what's going on underneath the mechanics: cutesy word play, a special shorthand, Britishisms (on Cape Cod), marine referrals, literary metaphors beyond the likely ken of even the eldest scribe Persis/Eustacia, all in precious-precocious run-on style, itself a trial. The blithe sleuths believe in disguises that don't, never see through their father's that does (he's the Muffin Man); the innocent lady-next-door is a Spy Lady because it's "a fact that Spy Ladies are all natural-born actresses and, in order to give people the wrong idea, act the opposite of what you'd expect them to do since otherwise they'd give the whole thing away." A premise so feeble and insultingly transparent that the story reduces to form without content: no suspense, no surprises, just Performance - structural acrobatics - and nobody likes a show-off. (Kirkus Reviews)
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10 ratings
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3 10% (1)
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