The Secret of the Painted Statue

Children - Mystery
251 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Secret of the Painted Statue by Angela D Moss is 'A Middle-Grade Baltimore Mystery Caper.' Morgan Draca wants her seventh grade to be the best ever, and her way of doing it is to make her Edgar Allan Poe assignment the best in the class. Her mother announces they are going on a trip to the city where Poe died, and, at the same time, the statue of a bird appears on the doorstep. Morgan believes there is a link, and she’s determined to find it. As she searches for clues, she believes someone else is also searching for the same answer. The more she immerses herself in the riddle, the further behind she falls on her assignment, and soon, she’s failing at everything. Questioning herself on whether she truly has what it takes to be a sleuth, she has to decide if she has the guts to find the answer to the riddle and ace her assignment. Can she do it?

The Secret of the Painted Statue by Angela D Moss is a fun adventure story with plenty of suspense. It is the second in the Morgan Draca mystery series, and although I didn’t read the first book, I had no trouble following this one. Angela has created a wonderful young female lead, a strong, smart girl that all female readers will want to emulate – maybe some male ones, too. This is a good story with plenty of action and no small amount of suspense that keeps you turning the pages. Morgan is a likable character with her own flaws and is highly relatable. The plot is unique, bringing history into a middle-grade adventure, proving to be a highly enjoyable and educational story. Recommended for all readers who love youthful adventures and amateur sleuth stories.

Afifa Raisa

The Secret of the Painted Statue by Angela D. Moss follows the story of Morgan Draca, a seventh-grader with a penchant for mysteries. Shortly before her trip to Baltimore, she receives a painted statue of a bird along with a strange poem. The anonymous sender knows where she is going, and Morgan smells another mission. She decides to proceed with it secretly as she fears that her mother may try to stop her if she learns that her daughter is investigating another mystery. Upon reaching Baltimore, Morgan begins to investigate the case with the help of Landyn, her chaperone. Things get more difficult as she fails to find a significant lead, but Morgan is determined to solve the mystery.

Angela D. Moss’s The Secret of the Painted Statue is a good read indeed. I loved the protagonist and her passion for mystery and history. She seemed to be the smartest and the most sensible girl among her friends, and this is yet another thing that made me love this character. I also enjoyed the bond between Morgan and her mother, Maya; the way the latter tries to provide unconditional support to her daughter without invading her privacy is simply amazing. I feel that Angela did a good job in constructing the events as well as the dialogue, making the story sound more natural. I would recommend the book to young readers aged 10-12.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Morgan and her friends cannot agree on a book for their English assignment. But, they have narrowed it down to one author; Edgar Allan Poe. Morgan’s impending family trip to Baltimore seems to be the perfect opportunity to discover more about the great author. When a mysterious note, along with a bird statue, appears on her doorstep, she is thrilled at the prospect of investigating another mystery. Why does someone want her to take the statue to Baltimore? Can she solve the riddle? Will she be able to hide her sleuthing from her stern mother? Should she forgo the mystery altogether and concentrate on her school project? Find out in The Secret of the Painted Statue: A Middle Grade Baltimore Mystery Caper by Angela D. Moss.

The Secret of the Painted Statue is well-researched and informative, just like the other books in this series. To Moss’ credit, she made the story educational without compromising on the fun and thrill elements. As we ventured into various historical sites across Baltimore, the various details Moss incorporated helped us form vivid mental images. Along with Morgan, we were introduced to many intriguing tidbits about the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe, which added to the sense of macabre pervading this story. I loved watching Morgan inching toward solving the mystery. Her logical thinking and powers of observation were admirable. The way she handled her conflicts with Melanie and Brad proved her maturity. Although the book is geared toward a young audience, adult readers should equally enjoy it.