She darted along the shadowy trail, adrenalin sparking through her limbs. Her eyes scanned for the snatches of white shirt flickering through the trees of the forest ahead; her nostrils twitched for shifting scents; her ears strained for every snap, every cry, every rustle, every …
‘Let’s go back now!’
The voice was like a frypan clanging on the head of Pollo di Nozi, Youth Reporter for the Coast newspaper. She leapt around to face its owner. She turned around to face its owner.
‘You can’t be serious, Will!’ Pollo hissed. ‘We’re chasing the first case we’ve had in weeks and you want to go back?’
‘The first case you’ve had in weeks,’ said Will.
Things have been mighty quiet in Riddle Gully. While this might be good news for the town, it’s not good news for intrepid reporter, Pollo and her slightly less enthusiastic, and often hungry sidekick, Will. But this trail, which leads them deep into the bush is sure to lead to super-scoops and further advance Pollo’s blooming career. And it does lead them to a mystery – with more leads than even Pollo could have imagined. Why don’t the campers want to be found? Who else is interested in the secrets of the hills? Pollo is desperate to find all the answers. All she has to do is convince Will to help her, untangle all the stories and fame will surely be hers.
Riddle Gully Secrets is the third mystery in this series set in a small town, Riddle Gully. While everyone else goes about their business, intrepid reporter (junior) Pollo sees intrigue and mystery everywhere. Her offsider, Will, is supportive but sometimes overwhelmed by Pollo’s enthusiasms. And there are many. ‘Riddle Gully Secrets’ explores secrets, greed, history, family and belonging, wrapped up in a mystery full of fun and wide-ranging adventure. Recommended for mid-primary readers and lovers of mystery.
Riddle Gully Secrets, Jen Banyard
Fremantle Press 2016 ISBN: 9781925163957
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller