Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Swept Away: Ruth Mornay and the Unwanted Clues by Natalie Hyde is a delightful mystery. Loss is never easy. When Ruth’s neighbor Beatrice passes away, everyone believes it was simply an unfortunate accident. Ruth doesn’t believe that. She’s convinced that something more sinister is at play and that her neighbor was murdered, but the only person who believes her is Beatrice’s godson Saul. The two begin to piece together bizarre clues left behind by Bea and set out to determine if the woman’s mysterious visions truly foretold her death. With Saul’s help, she’s determined to find the truth and prove that she was right all along.
Swept Away is reminiscent of mysteries with classic girl sleuths and will be a fun read for all ages. Ruth is a great character and a headstrong young sleuth driven by her determination similar to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. She doesn’t let anyone deter her from what she believes to be the truth. Instead, she sets out to prove it to be true. This makes Ruth a great character and makes for a satisfying mystery as she doesn’t let anything stop her. The mystery revolves around Bea, so the tone has a quirkiness to it derived from her personality and is seen in the odd clues she left for Ruth. These items and Saul's and Ruth’s perspectives of her help establish the person Bea was and serve as a way to keep her presence throughout the story. Ruth’s different way of thinking and her love of reading will make her relatable while using her perception to add humor to the story. With a great basis to draw children into the plot, Natalie Hyde delivers a story that blends murder mystery, sleuthing, friendship, quirky humor, and loss.