Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 14, 2015
  • Pages:  238
  • Genre:  mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book description:

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world. (But why is she wearing a superhero costume?!?)

After meeting up with an old friend in the eternal city of Rome, Kitty Hawk unexpectedly stumbles (almost literally) into a bizarre mystery involving creepy disembodied voices, secret hidden rooms, unbreakable mathematical codes, ominous chain-smoking strangers and an array of plundered artworks by such famous masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh – all of it wrapped up and entwined in an enigmatic riddle hanging in plain sight right in front of everyone’s noses. With the help of friends both old and new, Kitty Hawk follows a trail of cryptic clues that leads her on a breathless tour across a quintessentially European landscape – from ancient Roman Italy to the darkest corners of Germany, Austria and beyond.

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club.

To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with the author:    Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:  

Kitty is now in Rome where she will be meeting Charlie, her friend from Alaska.  A chance encounter with a thief, a walnut vendor and a scraped leg launch both of them into a totally unexpected international intrigue.  We are introduced to Matteo and his two sisters, Vega and Giulia.

As Charlie and Kitty are getting to know their new Italian friends, Kitty is admiring the paintings in their home.  After having just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, she has a “feeling” that these paintings may be authentic.  No way.  Yes way.  Not only are the paintings authentic but the “plot thickens” as Matteo’s house is broken into and they discover that their father’s home has a secret room housing a radio and transmitter which is still transmitting code.

As with all Iain Readings books, we explore history, literature, art, music and this time cryptography.  It was fascinating to learn how codes are written and deciphered.  We were also taken on a tour of Dachau and learn some interesting details about Nazi Germany.

I just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam recently and could relate to everything they were talking about in the book. As with the first four books, this book is divided into 54 short chapters which makes reading this book such a breeze (mind you, you probably won’t want to put it down – it’s way too exciting!)

Another super interesting Kitty Hawk mystery that will keep up well past your bedtime!  I’m sad that there isn’t another book in the series.  I’m sooo hooked!

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 16, 2014
  • Pages:  234
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London – from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper – until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure.

Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having followed Kitty Hawk from Alaska, Florida and Iceland we are now ready for a new adventure in the British Isles.  Kitty arrives in Ireland where she is doing a promotion for Wasabi Willy’s, a chain of restaurants that are promoting Kitty’s around-the-world tour.  At the sushi restaurant, she makes eye contact with a (ahem) handsome fellow in the audience.   Having read about her exploits in Florida and Iceland, Andrew, a young, good looking Scot, has a mystery that he wants Kitty to help him solve.

The mystery has to do with the sinking of RMS Titanic. Andrew’s great uncle was First Officer, William McMaster Murdoch, whose role in the marine disaster was often called into question.  Andrew shows Kitty documents his family received from an anonymous source in 1937 that were written in code.  Unable to decipher the code, he asks Kitty as the “One Woman Flying Detective Agency” to help solve the mystery.

Again, I have to admit that I learned so much about British and Irish history, hieroglyphics, code breaking, Sherlock Holmes and Egyptology.  Kitty and Andrew’s investigation leads them to a dangerous nemesis and the plot heats up as they struggle to stay one step ahead.  Heart-pounding adventure for these two is never far behind.

Although a popular theme found in London’s walking tours , I found that the sections about Jack the Ripper to be a bit too graphic for young adult readers.  I had to skim through these parts – they were pretty gross (imho).  I also question Kitty’s ethics in this story. What I really liked about Kitty is her ability to discern between right and wrong.

Kitty’s fourth adventure has everything we would expect – a bit of romance, oodles of excitement, as well as interesting bits of literature and history thrown in.  I can’t wait to read the next adventure in book number five!

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  April 19, 2013
  • Pages:  220
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface.

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue is the dazzling third installment of the Flying Detective Agency series featuring Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenaged seaplane pilot with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into – and out of – all kinds of precarious situations. This is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages – armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike. From dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials to mystical beings and clashes with the elemental forces of nature, this book has it all. Come and join Kitty Hawk as she experiences the strange and extraordinary world of the Icelanders, and unravels the Icelandic Intrigue.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having just been to Iceland a few months ago, I was excited to begin reading about Kitty’s adventure in the third instalment of the Kitty Hawk series.  Did Kitty see the same things I did?  Yes, but she saw them from the air from the seat of her trusty De Havilland Beaver!  I saw Iceland all over again through her eyes and it makes me want to go back!

Kitty is warmly welcomed to Iceland by Konrad (who is originally from Alaska) and his family.  I especially enjoyed learning about the Icelandic naming Committee (you’ll see what I mean when you read the book).

Kitty is introduced to several interesting people by Kristin, Konrad’s daughter, who is studying environmental engineering at the University of Iceland.  Now this is where things start to get interesting (did you know there is a handsome, red haired, bearded Icelander Viking dude in this story?) (plus other cool stuff such as aluminum smelters).

There was plenty of action (pretty scary actually) in The Icelandic Intrigue. I always wonder how Kitty finds herself in crazy, dangerous situations when she’s pretty much a tourist like the rest of us (throw in a volcano, some Russians and some rotten shark meat).

I enjoyed reading The Icelandic Adventure as much as the first two books in the series and look forward to book number four “The Tragedy of the RMS Titanic”.

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series Book 2) by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and The Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  September 11th, 2013
  • Pages:  246
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight.

As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Kitty is at it again with another nail-biting adventure in the Florida Keys.  Before she begins her around the world trip, she wants to take a bit of a vacation with her parents.  After exploring the Keys, she decides to go camping at Fort Jefferson to “really get away from it all”.  But we know Kitty,  her insatiable curiosity really gets the best of her when she suddenly sees an eerie green light in the shallow water close to the fort.  Unfortunately, she can’t resist taking a closer look.

I was curious to see how the author was going to prepare us for Kitty’s around-the-world trip.  I was a little worried that Kitty wasn’t ready for this enormous undertaking and was relieved to see all the precautions and preparation that Kitty and her family put into place before her trip.  The mini GPS maps really help to locate where she is on her flight path.  I googled a lot of the information I read in the book just to be sure she would be alright.  Her plane is a lot bigger than I thought and the extra fuel tanks will help her on her long haul flights.  I learned so much about geography, aviation, travel and literature as I read this book (and if you are interested to learn more, there is a mini encyclopedia at the end).

Kitty’s sense of adventure is contagious and I will be following her as she heads off to Iceland in her next book.  Where’s my backpack?

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  December 3, 2012
  • Pages:  270
  • Genre:  mystery / thriller / women sleuths

Book description:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club.

To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with the author:    Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

The cover of Kitty climbing a mountain with a seaplane in the background immediately caught my eye.  Kitty is a girl from Vancouver Island (where I presently live) and lives in Tofino, about three hours away by car.  I’ve also lived in northern BC and have always wanted to go to Alaska so this novel had had me hooked from the start.

At first I wasn’t sure that a young girl would be capable of the things Kitty was able to do, but growing up in a small community with parents who were very pro-active with Kitty’s education certainly moulded her into an independent young person.

The author has written not only an exciting and interesting story, but has deftly added in bits containing history, geography and literature.  I was a fervent reader as a teenager and would have LOVED to  have read this book!  As an adult reader, I can say that it would captivate anyone who loves travel and adventure.  The book was coherent, well edited and had enough plot twists and suspense to make you keep reading until way past your bedtime.  I was constantly doing research about the places Kitty was travelling to and the maps and illustrations in the book were helpful visual aids to help me place exactly where she was in the story.

I’m ready for the next four books!

(PS:  I love the new cover art!)