By Eoin Colfer
Reviewed by Fence
Colfer is probably best known for his Artemis Fowl series, but in this book he moves away from the fantasy genre and into the detective one, but that doesn't mean that this book is a total departure. I would guess that any fans of the Fowl books would enjoy this one. I haven't read them all, but I've taken a look at a few and have been entertained by them all. I probably actually enjoyed this one more.
The hero of Half Moon Investigations is Fletcher Moon, a 12 year old detective, make that a short 12 year old detective. So short in fact that his unwanted nickname is Half Moon. But that doesn't stop Fletcher; all he has ever wanted is to be a detective. He has his badge, all the way from America, and so what if he had to use his father's birth certificate. He has his informants. He even has his contact in the local police. He knows all the rules of successful detecting. And yet that doesn't stop him from becoming entangled in a case he should have stayed far away from.
If you are a fan of the detective genre you should recognize plenty of references, albeit filtered through a slightly younger than normal point of view. Just read the opening lines:
My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon. And I'm a private detective. In my twelve years on this spinning ball we call Earth, I've seen a lot of things normal people never see. I've seen lunch boxes stripped of everything except fruit. I've seen counterfeit homework networks that operated in five counties, and I've seen truckloads of candy taken from babies. I thought I'd seen it all. I had paid so many visits to the gutter looking for lost valentines, that I thought nothing could shock me. After all, when you've come face-to-face with the dark side of the school yard, life doesn't hold many surprises.
How about that for a nod in the direction of the genre clichés.
And if you are a fan of the Artemis Fowl books you'll love the style in which Half Moon Investigations is written. Fletcher is an engaging character, there is plenty of humour, not to mention twists to keep the reader entertained. There is also a bit of a lesson to be learned, but don't worry, this isn't a preachy YA book, instead it is more about looking beyond the obvious and detecting what might be underneath. Like any good kid's book, this makes for an entertaining read, no matter the reader's age.