Number of Pages: 272
Published: December 1st 2015
The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow begins with Thurston Begonia taking a 30 foot fall from the third floor balcony of Begonia House. The details of his death, according to the news article at the beginning of the book, are still a mystery. Then things move forward to Fairday and her family moving into the Begonia House, which they have purchased and plan to make into a bed and breakfast. Ok, I'm hooked. I love old houses, the kind with a porch, attic, spiraling staircase, bay windows, a couple of towers or turrets. I envision a parlor with a fireplace that is cozy and inviting. But, I also want a house to hold some mysteries, have some hidden panels or walkways, rooms that require a special key to open. Check, check and check. Begonia House seems to have all of these things, it's creepy and mysterious, but not scary. I really liked the way that the authors introduce the reader to Begonia House, and exploring each of the rooms as Fairday is seeing them. There is some mystery as to whether the house is haunted or not, mysterious sounds of bagpipes coming from one of the rooms and padlocks on one of the doors. It just adds to the suspense and eeriness of the house. As a child I would have really enjoyed the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad), and the cool DMS pack they use to solve their mysteries, containing a headlamp, binoculars, camera and note book to catalog clues. I always wanted to be an amateur sleuth like Nancy Drew. There is also a really great relationship between Fairday and Lizzy (founding members of DMS), but I liked that they choose to include Marcus, he seems to round out the team, plus his dad being an FBI agent might come in handy. Even Mr. Lovell and Fairday's parents are wonderful additions to the story. However, Fairday really shines in this book, she has a perfect response to standing up to a bully and just love the friendships that develop, it's something that I see carrying over into the next book, which I hope there is one.
Favorite line "Time spent with others is more valuable than an eternity alone."