An Annie Tillery Mystery

This is third book that Linda Maria Frank has published in her Annie Tillery series. People love to put books in genres and the publisher has deemed that Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys is Juvenile Fiction. I personally would have labeled it YA (Young Adult), but that is of no matter. It is the story that matters, not the filing cabinet it is put in.

I rather like the style that the author uses, she does not talk down to her young readers, rather she treats them as peers on a quest.

Very much Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys is a quest. Annie Tillery and her boyfriend Ty Egan find themselves on an archaeological dig in Turkey. Both have an interest in rediscovering the past. Both view archaeology as important, much can be learned from the past. In some ways the past explains the present, and possibly gives some insights to the future.

It does not take Annie Tillery long to start smelling something bad. Artifacts seemed to be shipped from the dig site, but not making it to either  the university in Istanbul or the research labs in the US.

It is clear to Annie Tillery that there is a mystery. She is somewhat ‘hog tied’, she really has no official channels to go through, other than her father, a member of the State Department. Taking this route however might cause the project to be closed down.

How can an artifact just disappear?

The clues come from an unlikely source, the leader of the dig Dr Atsut’s two teenage twin children, Yelda and Ahmet. Too young to be active participants in the activity, they had to find other ways to entertain themselves. Watching and listening was their game. While their father, Dr Atsut was absorbed in the ancient past, the twins were far more interested in the present. Fragments of ancient pottery might be OK for old people, what is happening in the here and now was what the twins studied.

As a reviewer I think it would be a huge disservice to Linda Maria Frank to share any more of the plot. I will leave it to the reader to discover the story for themselves. But that does not mean that I can’t make some observations.

Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys may well be aimed at the Young Adult reader, that could be me, apart from the fact I am not so young anymore!  However I don’t let such a minor issue get between a book and me.

I had the opportunity to talk to Linda before reading her latest book. It is amazing how much you can learn about a book before you read it. “CSI meets Nancy Drew” was a comment that I rather liked. Indeed Annie Tillery is much more modern than Nancy Drew. The writing style is also much more modern.

Growing up I was a fan of Enid Blyton and the Famous Five, even the Secret Seven. Those books are now dated.  The youth of today are looking for stories that they can relate to. iPhones and computers are the key.

Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys is a great read, what I particularly like is that Linda Maria Frank manages to weave a good deal of factual material into the action and adventure. One could call it ‘sneaky learning’  🙂 This actually should come as no surprise as the author was a school and college teacher before turning her attention to writing.

There is also a very interesting twist in the end of the book. It is one that I had not foreseen, yet makes perfect sense.

You can order your copy of  Secrets Of The Fairy Chimneys by clicking on the Amazon link above.

Simon Barrett


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