So, the one time I had the chance to wander the aisles at the exhibit hall at IRA, I stopped by the Little Brown booth to say HI to the lovely Victoria Stapleton. The title of this book caught my eye and I asked for an ARC (note that the ARC has a different cover from the one posted here; that did not matter as it was the title that made me look).
Cassandra and Max-Ernest become partners in solving a mystery. Why did the old magician's house smell of sulfur even after the fire? Why did he possess something called THE SYMPHONY OF SMELLS. Who are Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais and what do they expect to find in the missing magician's home? When Cassandra and Max-Ernest discover the magician's notebook, they set into motion an adventure neither of them could ever imagine.
Like the author of this book (who is listed as Pseudonymous Bosch, how cool is that?), I do not wish to give away too much. It would be much more fun for the reader to discover on her or his own just how this book combines elements of Lemony Snicket with healthy doses of Nancy Drew and perhaps a soupcon of Raold Dahl. I welcome novels for those kids in 4-6th grade, especially ones that demand more of the reader. Here is a terrific book to offer those intermediate and middle level readers.