Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins plans to become a private detective like her grandfather. Stuck at her bullying cousin Gwendolyn’s Malibu estate for the summer, Skylar brings her fingerprinting kit, portable spy tools, and her journal for taking notes in secret code. She had no idea how dangerous the next eight weeks would prove to be.
As soon as Skylar gets to Malibu, mysterious things begin to happen. She discovers a hidden garden behind a rusted gate in Gwendolyn’s huge back yard. Her new friend Kat, who claims to be a witch, recognizes magical elements throughout the garden and declares it the perfect place to perform spells.
“We are going to grow gems.”
“Grow what?” There was no way I heard her right.
Kat’s eyes gleamed. “Gems. You know, rubies, emeralds, sapphires? Gems!”
Ignoring the rising tide, they sneak down to the beach at midnight and search three caves for magic seeds to plant in the abandoned garden. Practical Skylar didn’t believe in magic. Until their spells begin to work.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills has been a #1 Best Seller in Children’s Detective ebooks, Children’s Fantasy & Supernatural Mystery ebooks, Children’s Sword & Sorcery Fantasy ebooks, and Children’s ebooks: Mystery & Detectives/Spies.
5 stars: Spellbinding! Review by GemTones on November 15, 2014 Fans of Nancy Drew and Harry Potter alike will love this fast-paced blend of detective action, mystery, witchcraft, and magic.
The thing that attracted me to Cross’s book was initially the cover. It just looked so mysterious and fun that I couldn’t simply scroll past it. I have a confession to make however because this isn’t the first time I have wanted to read it. I have had my eye on Cross’s books for a while. Call it the young Sian still living inside me that was always a fan of kid’s detective series like The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, who grew up with the likes of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
Cross has managed to bring about the perfect blend of young adult detective with modern times. I am always weary whenever an author / authoress makes a bold venture like this and until Cross I don’t feel that any that I have read thus far have succeeded. Skylar is an engaging character who has the perfect blend of childlike innocence with detective intuition. Cross provides Skylar with an appropriate back story that clearly outlines how her interest in being a detective developed. The other characters; both good and bad; are not only realistic but also wonderfully diverse – as people would be.
The plot itself is believable; nothing so extravagant that you can’t imagine Skylar getting involved in it. It is the perfect set up for the young detective; better carried across than most because it isn’t a murder case or something that she would not have had access to in real life.
That aside; Skylar’s growth as a person is wonderful and anyone can related to the kind of growth that Skylar goes through with ease because it isn’t done suddenly or dramatically that you are left wondering how she went from being the old version of herself to a brand spanking new version.
Review Rating: 4/5
Published by: Ward Design LLC DBA Teen Mystery Press; 1 edition
Published Date: July 30, 2013
Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery