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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Detective Dylan and the Case of the Missing Mail is the first book in the Youth Sleuths Chapter Book Series by MJ Murray. During the first week of summer break, Dylan waits for his detective kit from his favorite television show, Youth Sleuths. His sister, Emily, and their dog, Theodore, wait with Dylan, and when he grabs the package from the mailman, they follow him as he unpacks the case and stumbles upon his first mystery. Mrs. Lane has been away from her home, but when she returns, someone has taken the mail out of her mailbox. Dylan accepts his first mystery and, with Emily and Theodore at his side, travels around his neighborhood searching for clues.
MJ Murray has written the perfect book for beginning chapter readers! Murray’s characters are well-developed, and even Theodore plays a significant part in the story. The mystery is central to the plot, but Murray also explores the dynamic between Dylan and Emily, growing their relationship, revealing their bond, and strengthening it as they search for clues. Illustrations by Amanda Fletcher clarify each part of the story, and readers will love seeing Theodore’s antics in action. The author engages with readers by writing a fun story and inviting them to read the answers to common questions about the series. Murray provides a list of high-frequency words for each chapter, giving educators prompts for discussions. Young readers who enjoy chapter books involving mysteries will love Detective Dylan and the Case of the Missing Mail.