Sunday, November 28, 2010

(written by special guest tipper, Alex Hancock for ALL PULP'S TAKE YOUR KID TO WORK DAY)
By Avi
2009, Scholastic Press

This book, Murder At Midnight, is not a murder mystery at the beginning. It happens in the town of Pergamontio, Italy way before electricity and other technology. Except for the really old type of printing press. Magic was not allowed and the king thought things like the printing press were magical devices.

The main character is Fabrizio, the servant to Mangus, a magician who does illusions, not real magic, like stage tricks we would see today. Mangus is accused of magically copying a paper about treason against the King. He was accused because all the treason papers spread around the city looked exactly the same down to the loop and line. Because he’s the only stage magician in town, the king accuses him of using magic and being hired by someone to copy the treason papers.

Governor Delvino, an official in the city, said that Fabrizio and Mangus had to collect all the papers, find out who planned the treason, and stop practicing magic or leave the city. Sent out by Mangus to collect the papers, Fabrizio ends up getting captured by Delvino’s soldiers with the papers on him. They thought he was posting them. Fabrizio is then sent to the executioner, but he tricked the executioner into freeing him. He escapes and meets up with Maria, the daughter of the people who own the printing press.

Together, they work to find out who is plotting treason, end up having to solve a murder, and have to race to the last minute to save Mangus from a trial that could get him executed.

This book was good. Fabrizio was a good hero because he was smart and clever. The mystery was good, but I had it figured out about three quarters through the book. This book was also full of villains and it was interesting to figure out who was good and who was bad. Although the big mystery was who the plotters against the King were, there were little mysteries all through the book. I really really liked this book, but there weren’t enough action scenes in it for me.

Borrowing his dad’s hat, Alex gives MURDER AT MIDNIGHT-
4 out of 5 Tips of the Hat-It was really good, but more action would have been better