I’m so pleased to share this long-awaited release with all of you today! Nutmeg: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph is the perfect MG mystery for readers! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win the most amazing giveaway!
Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)
Publication Date: February 1st, 2020
Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)
World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.
Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.
A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.
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Excerpt – Chapter 4
“Here we go again. An aftershock! I’ve been afraid this would happen,” said Dr. Kurtz. She rapidly surveyed the room full of terrariums. “And one of my assistants just called to say he’s found a somewhat hidden but large crack from this morning’s tremor on one of our venomous snake enclosure’s glass panes. It’s a major emergency. Come out with me quickly boys—now! I have to attend to this immediately,” she shouted behind her, as she grabbed her tool bag, yanked open the heavy door, and fled outside and down the breezeway to the enclosure.
Unfortunately, Moki and Lanny weren’t as fast as Dr. Kurtz. The door banged shut in their surprised faces and locked. They were trapped in a windowless room.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the power failed simultaneously, and the room went pitch black. Both boys froze, helplessly surrounded by three walls of venomous snakes they could still hear but no longer see.
My Review of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph offers middle-grade students a peek into Egyptian history. The culture explained is rich and displayed well.
I was excited to read this mystery after the Cover Reveal I brought you back in November. The synopsis was fantastic, and I was looking forward to sharing this one with my 9-year-old granddaughter. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
I want to start with the gifts that this tome gives us as readers. First, the story is clever. The mystery is compelling, and learning about the home life of Lexi and Lanny with their famous parents is fun.
I will admit that I was stuck on the who-done-it right up until the end. That is impressive in a middle-grade mystery novel.
Now, on to the negatives. The educational pieces of information related to Egypt or a non-familiar word are written in a way that feels condescending. The information is meant to be written into the story, but it makes the characters seem like know-it-alls, and that is not a fun way to learn.
The 4 detectives are too squeaky clean to be believable. While I can admire an author, who wants to instill ethical values in young readers, it is my opinion that characters should have some flaws.
One last thing I want to share is that this is supposed to be the first novel of the series, but the book talks about all these other cases that the kids have solved. That was confusing to me. I would like to have read more about how this became their first case and then lead to other mysteries. Coming into it as full-fledged detectives give us no backstory.
I award Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets 3 out of 5 stars.
Thank you, Sherrill Joseph and Shannon, from R&R Book Tours, for providing me with a copy of Nutmeg Street in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Sherrill Joseph’s debut novel, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, had been inside her head for decades. The mystery genre took hold of her as a fifth grader when she discovered Nancy Drew and Phyllis A. Whitney mysteries. Years later, it still hasn’t let go.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s in education, Sherrill spent the next thirty-five years as a K-12 literacy teacher. When she retired from teaching in 2013, the Botanic Hill Detectives and their mysteries finally sprang to life.
Forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools, the author has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives mysteries with children of various abilities, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that embracing diversity is the key to a better world.
Sherrill is a native San Diegan where she lives in a ninety-year-old house in a historic neighborhood with her bichon frisé-poodle mix, Jimmy Lambchop. In addition to her dog, the city of San Diego, reading and writing, the author loves her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She must also include dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, staircases, the color purple, and daisies. She is a member of SCBWI and the Authors’ Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.
US Only: One signed paperback copy of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
- One bookmark
- One sticker
- One refrigerator magnet
- Winner’s choice of either the standing Egyptian goddess Bastet statue or, the reclining Egyptian god Anubis statue
International Only: One eBook copy of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
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