A murder mystery with a splash of comedy, Ashika Hira
Allen & Unwin
June 11, 2021
The Nancys, written by R.W.R. McDonald and published by Allen & Unwin in 2019, is a riveting book about dealing with grief in an adventurous way and is ultimately about finding yourself. In this book we live life through the eyes of young Tippy Chan. Her mother has gone on a cruise and she is stuck at home with her uncle Pike and his boyfriend, Devon. When one of her best friends ends up in hospital, and then a day later there has been a murder in the small town of Riverstone, Tippy, her uncle and his boyfriend take it upon themselves to solve this murder mystery. Will they be able to find the killer before anyone else ends up dead?
Tippy Chan is 11 years old and has just lost her dad in a car accident. She has been struggling to keep it together, but she hasn’t even cried over his death. Does this make her a bad daughter? Her feelings are a mess, and if things couldn’t get any more complicated, one of her best friends, Todd, ends up in hospital, having fallen off the bridge. When Tippy, her uncle and Devon go to see Todd they witness a fight between two of Tippy’s teachers, then the next morning they find out that there has been a murder. Tippy’s teacher is dead. Who could dream of doing such a thing? Are these events linked? This is almost too much for Tippy to handle, but when the police accuse the wrong person it is up to Tippy, Pike and Devon to catch the real murderer. They form the Nancys, a take on Nancy Drew, and together they must gather the clues, gain the trust of those they hate and battle disbelief, all the while keeping it a secret from Tippy’s mum. Will the Nancys find the one who committed this heinous crime before it’s too late?
This book is written beautifully, with humour seamlessly intertwined into the storyline. McDonald never lets it get too dark and always has a witty comment that makes me laugh out loud, earning me more than a few strange looks! The Nancys not only indulge the adventure-seeking side of Pike and Tippy, but also help to bring these three people closer together. The Nancys allow Tippy to finally become her true self, which was becoming increasingly difficult after the loss of such an important presence in her life. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves a murder mystery with a splash of comedy. This book is the perfect mix of mystery and comedy, with of course a good murder woven in.
- Ashika Hira is 15 years old and lives in Hastings.