Mysteries & Mayhem, by Katherine Woodfine and other authors

The Crime Club – Mystery & Mayhem, Twelve Deliciously Intriguing Mysteries

‘Twelve dastardly crimes have been committed. They seem impossible…but can you solve them?’

Challenge accepted! Appealing to my inner detective and adventurer, I couldn’t resist choosing this collection of short murder mystery, whodunit stories to read and review.

I found it impossible to pick a favourite of the twelve because they were all so different and gripping. Mysteries involving poisonings, dog-nappings, safe-breaking and sabotage were crying out to be solved in a time-travelling collection of short stories; set in a variety of locations from modern Britain to the eighteenth century, to Victorian London; from theatres, grand houses and small American towns.

The characters are clumsy, often bumbling but incredibly likeable as they stumble around the crime scene looking for, and often completely missing clues. More often than not, I found myself ‘solving’ the mysteries before the characters themselves. I’m not sure if this was intention by the author as a tool to involve and excite the reader, or whether this being because I am in fact a master detective but I am going with the latter!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading these short stories and would recommend them to anyone wanting to end the school day with a little bit of mystery!

Lesson Ideas

Literacy/Drama/History

·         Children to write their own murder mystery short story, whodunit style!

·         Create a hot seat activity to question the suspects

·         Write up suspects character profiles

·         Think about the settings – Victorian London, America. How are they different to where we live? Think about the characters – what would they wear? Speak like?

Science

·         This book could be used to introduce the topic of DNA and genetics and what could be left behind at a crime scene and be used to incriminate the suspect.

Maths

·         A treasure hunt times tables challenge

·         Crack the code activities

 

By Jess Hine

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