More "Half Moon Investigations" plus two questions
On the other, you have Eoin Colfer's Fletcher Moon, who shows what can happen when a real writer writes about children. Fletcher "Half" Moon, as readers of this blog will know, is a 12-year-old private detective. In Half Moon Investigations, he breaks a case that involves theft (of his detective's badge and a set of turntable needles, among other items), conspiracy and assault (Was the target really a garden gnome?)
Among the book's charms are that young Moon credibly confronts dilemmas familiar from the crime fiction that Colfer loves so well while remaining anchored at the same time in a child's world.
The novel's climax and dénouement pack an emotional punch, partly as a result of Fletcher's having had to be cruel to a girl he admires. Fletcher's letdown after he breaks the case neatly echoes the gloomy perspective of a Philip Marlowe. Yet in the midst of his rather affecting reaction, he remains an authentic twelve-year-old, convinced that the world revolves around him (though this scene happens in a school lunchroom rather than a seedy bar):
"Life was rolling along with no regard for my personal gloom. Kids were chatting, flirting, fighting, and occasionally eating.Rarely have more charming and affecting thoughts been put in the head of a fictional character, at least not one who was thinking them in a school lunch hall.
"Didn't these people realize how depressed I was? I had turned my back on two things that were very important to me. My chosen profession and an unlikely friend, Red."
Here are the questions; feel free to seek help from a young person of your acquaintance: What's your favorite children's or young adults' crime story? What does such a story have to do in order both to work as crime fiction and be suitable for and attractive to its intended age group?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Irish crime fiction