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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Lady in Red: The Eye Spy Series, Book 3 is a sleuth mystery novel for children and preteens written by Tessa Buckley. Alex and Donna Macintyre had promised their irate dad and their Nan that they wouldn’t be doing any more sleuthing after the misadventures of their last case, but neither of them had any idea that a case would drop into their laps seemingly out of thin air. It all started when they were sitting in their biology class awaiting their teacher. Instead of their teacher, however, their headmaster, Mr. Bull walked into the classroom along with a boy carrying a box that held a live snake.
The boy, an Australian named Jake, introduced his reptilian friend, Queenie, a North American corn snake. When Jake invited the siblings to his home, their visit to Acacia Avenue, a historic part of town where Jake lived, would result in them meeting the great-grandson of Victorian artist Gabriel Pascoe, who actually built the house where Jake lived, and whose famous painting, The Lady in Red, had been missing since it was hidden during the War. This was their forte, finding missing people and things. Alex just happened to have a business card handy for Eye Spy Investigations, and he handed it over to the elderly man who was Jake’s landlord and who had treated them all to a picnic. Visit over, the two siblings were instantly brainstorming about their newest investigation.
Tessa Buckley’s Lady in Red is a well-written and entertaining detective fiction novel that kept me engaged and interested until I had reached the last page. While it is the third book in her Eye Spy Series, Buckley provides enough background information for it to be read as a standalone. Her characters are well-defined and authentic, and I particularly enjoyed the interaction of the two siblings in their work as a sleuthing team. The mystery of the missing portrait is credible and thought-provoking, and its resolution is apt to satisfy the most discerning armchair sleuth. Lady in Red: The Eye Spy Series, Book 3 is highly recommended.