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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Bedlam in Berlin: JJ Bennett Junior Spy, Book 3 is an action and adventure thriller for young adults and preteens written by Alba Arango. JJ couldn’t believe that the beautiful and deadly blonde teen KGB agent, Ivana, was there in the Berlin Tegel Airport, briefly spotted and then she vanished. He ran through the terminal, looking for her. Ivana’s appearances usually meant trouble, but JJ couldn’t help feeling a powerful attraction to her. Maggie scoffed at his obsession and dismissed this latest appearance as simply wishful thinking, an hallucination. When JJ’s dad and Maggie’s mom caught up with them after having retrieved their luggage, Maggie and JJ changed topics. JJ’s dad supposedly worked as a tech expert for the CIA, but the two tweens knew he was really more than that -- and they understood that if his real role was revealed, JJ would end up living with his smelly cousin back in the States and the adventures he and Maggie were enjoying would be a thing of the past. But why was Ivana here in Berlin and did it have anything to do with his dad’s assignment there?
In Bedlam in Berlin, Alba Arango immerses her two young espionage agents-in-training and the reader in Cold War history as they work to uncover a deadly remnant of Berlin’s political past and keep it out of KGB hands. As with the two preceding books in this fascinating series, Ms. Hernandez keeps the two tweens busy learning about Berlin’s history, culture and gastronomic delights, while they moonlight as K-CIA agents, determined to help solve problems and keep JJ’s dad safe. She also introduces a new character, William Bennett, and his dad, Nigel, who’s a British diplomat working with JJ’s father. I had a grand time reading Bedlam in Berlin. Having read the previous two books in the series, I knew I’d be getting a first-class touring experience of the city as well as helping JJ and Maggie solve another thorny espionage mystery -- and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. JJ and Maggie work so well together as a team. Arango’s plot is action-packed and thrilling, and her two main characters are coming of age in a most entertaining way. Arango’s stories educate as they entertain. They’re well written and also work quite nicely as travel literature. Bedlam in Berlin is most highly recommended.