Title: Howl at the Moon
Author: L A Starkey
Series: Liarus Detective #1
Release Date: February 28th 2015
Age Group: Middle Grade
Eighth graders, Ben, Jake and Leah need cash, and mowing lawns in the winter just isn’t cutting it. Their need for cash births the Liarus (Liars R Us) Detective Agency! Their first client is Old Lady Smitz, who is said to have murdered her three sons and husband. She’s missing a family heirloom, but it’s not just any old trinket, it’s the crest of Lykoi. There are only two rules: No girls are allowed and never seal a deal with the witch doctor. Disregarding danger, these three discover that money is usually more trouble than it’s worth!
In the time that I’ve been reviewing Howl at the Moon is the first Middle-Grade novel I have read. It’s not that I have any prejudice towards the genre, just that maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places! I immediately loved the cover of L.A. Starkey’s book, which definitely captures the mood of the story.
Howl at the Moon is perfectly crafted for its Middle-Grade audience. We encounter the expected angst from hormonal 13-year-olds in the midst of puberty and see scenes of first kisses and unrequited love. If phrases like, ‘“I’m pants crapping, undies peeing, shortcake barfing scared” ‘ make you roll your eyes, then this probably isn’t the book for you! 🙂
Neither boys realise how the search for the Lykoi Crest will impact upon their lives, as they discover the paranormal world that exists beyond their limited realities.
L.A. Starkey’s characters range from thoughtful to humorous; dramatic to mystical and caring to threatening. However, each fills a specific role in how the story is told. My particular favourites are the eccentric Uncle Frankie and the gutsy Leah.
Regardless of it’s intended audience, I really enjoyed the story and cannot wait to read more about the amateur group of detectives!