Reviews for Half Moon Investigations
Booklist Reviews 2006 May #1
Gr. 4-6. Colfer's newest offering has all the earmarks of another multibook endeavor, but one that is very different from his hugely popular Artemis Fowl series. This time his protagonist is short, nerdy, 12-year-old Fletcher Moon, "youngest P.I. on the planet" (certainly the youngest in his small Irish hometown), with a much-prized badge from a correspondence school to prove it. When popular, 10-year-old April Devereux retains him to find dirt on the school's most notorious disruptors, the Sharkey brothers, "Half Moon" can't resist. It isn't long, however, before Fletcher realizes that the Sharkeys aren't the problem and that his best option to get to the bottom of things (including a surprisingly vicious beating that lands him in the hospital) and smooth out the mess his ham-fisted investigation has produced is to team up with a Sharkey. The private-eye lingo has a great, comical grade-school snap, and even if Half Moon's investigative endeavors are more preposterous than mysterious, the kid's goofy charm and stubborn dedication to crime solving will win him a hefty, enthusiastic following. ((Reviewed May 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
Fletcher "Half" Moon is a bona fide twelve-year-old detective, with the badge (earned from an online private investigators' academy) to prove it. The story begins humorously, but the drawn-out plot grows tedious. Boys looking for a lightweight action-adventure story might find enough here to keep them entertained, or they might decide to close the book before Fletcher closes the case. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #4
A cross between Dragnet's suave Joe Friday and a scrawny middle-school nerd, Fletcher "Half" Moon is a bona fide twelve-year-old detective, with the badge (earned from an online private investigators' academy) to prove it. His first-person narrative begins promisingly with a burst of film-noir humor funneled through a kid's perspective ("Doobie would sell out his own mother for a sweaty handful of jelly beans"). Unfortunately, the hilarity isn't sustained once the investigation, involving a notorious local family of ne'er-do-wells and a cluster of odd petty crimes against young people, gets underway. Colfer (author of the Artemis Fowl books) adds some colorful elements to the case, such as a scheming band of ten-year-old girls whose all-pink garb masks their black-hearted intentions. But the drawn-out plot grows tedious, and the banter between Half Moon and his partner Red never quite catches fire. Boys looking for a lightweight action-adventure story might find enough here to keep them entertained, or they might decide to close the book before Fletcher closes the case. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2006 March #1
Combine Sam Spade's manner, Encyclopedia Brown's curiosity and Columbo's deductive tenacity-that's Fletcher Moon, kid crime-solver. Never mind that he's only 12-Half Moon (he's short) is a real detective with an official badge from the Bob Bernstein Academy to prove it. When classmate April Devereux hires him to find her missing lock of pop star's hair, the case gets tangled in her all-girls' club, the snarkey Sharkey family notorious for thievery and talent-show contestants at St. Jerome's school. With unlikely ally, Red Sharkey, Fletcher follows clues that point to some kind of weird conspiracy, but he's forced undercover when someone tries to frame him for the crimes. Mystery-solving readers will ignore the European words-euros for dollars, guards for cops, cola flagon-to smugly sidestep red-haired herrings, giggle over Fletcher's disguise and grin deviously when the cast of suspects line up on stage for the grand inquisition. Half Moon is full-fledged fun and a sure-fire booktalk: Just describe Moon's eight-year-old, snot-nosed snitch who always has green yo-yo's hanging from his nostrils that he snorts in and out. A sub-theme of "information is power" is cleverly embedded in the fast-paced romp, while the ending leaves a trail for future investigations. (Fiction. 10-14)First printing of 250,000; $200,000 ad/promo Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 January #5
This tale from the author of Artemis Fowl tracks the hilarious exploits of brainiac Fletcher Moon, a mere 12 years old and already a graduate of an online detective course. His first case: über-brat April Devereux, "head of an entire tribe of Barbies," hires him to find out who swiped the lock of a pop star's hair that she bought on eBay. Suspicion centers on Red Sharkey, oldest son of the town's leading crime family. Unraveling the mystery leads Fletcher to break rule No. 1 in his detective's handbook--"Be invisible"--and most of the other rules, too. The large but distinctive supporting cast includes a female school principal whose iron hand is aided by a pair of menacing Dobermans, and Fletcher's older sister, Hazel, who works out her boy troubles by writing plays and poetry while locked in her bedroom. "How about a rhyme for pathetic?" she asks Fletcher, who suggests "prosthetic" (this for Hazel's "epic poem about [his] date with April"). While the setting is suburban and the well-to-do kids have the same fixations as their American cousins, Colfer tailors the details specifically to Ireland. April's cousin May is a step dancer ("Go and do your Riverdance thing," April says dismissively at one point), the boys play hurling ("the Irish sporting version of pitched battle") and swear loyalty by invoking the Irish marble oath, "Brick miss must celt ." It's a place many readers will very much enjoy visiting. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
FYI: A q&a with author Eoin Colfer ran in the January 26 issue of Children's Bookshelf; see www.publishersweekly.com/bookshelf . [Page 70]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2006 April
Gr 4-7 -Diminutive Fletcher Moon may not be the most popular 12-year-old in his Irish town but he's proud-maybe a little too proud-of the badge that he constantly flashes to let everyone know that he's an online graduate of a private detective academy in Washington, DC. The other kids admit that Fletcher, aka "Half Moon," has solved several tough cases at Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School, so they come to him when they have a problem. But when super all-in-pink girly-girl April Devereux hires him to find a lock of a pop star's hair that she claims was stolen by one of the Sharkeys-a family of well-known criminals-everything starts going wrong for Fletcher. His precious badge is taken, he finds a single huge footprint at every crime scene, and he's picked up by the local police for arson when the Devereux playhouse burns down. When Fletcher goes on the run, who becomes his number-one ally? Young Red Sharkey. A typically funny Colfer offering without the mania of the â€œArtemis Fowl" series (Hyperion), the story wittily delivers the message that some people aren't-for good or ill-who they appear to be. Kids who enjoy comic mysteries will have a great time with Half Moon , and the conclusion drops plenty of hints that this could become a series.-Walter Minkel, New York Public Library [Page 136]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 June
The newest addition to the "kid detective" genre is Colfer's twelve-year-old Fletcher Moon, who solved his first case from a playpen at three. Short for his age and smart beyond his years, Fletcher, using his father's birth certificate, has graduated at the top of his class from an Internet detective school, the youngest certified detective not only in the U.K., but in the whole world. Nicknamed "Half Moon" by the other kids, he is hired by one of Les Jeunes Estudiantes, a group of popular pink-clad girls, to find a missing lock of pop-star hair. There is more to the case than meets the eye, however, and not only does Fletcher cross the Sharkeys, the nastiest family in town, but he also becomes a victim and has only twelve hours to solve what turns out to be a string of crimes that puts him at the end of a finger pointing "guilty!" Witty, well-paced, and filled with colorful-literally-characters, this mystery by Artemis Fowl series author Colfer is sure to please middle-level readers, both fans of Artemis and those new to Colfer's work. No doubt, Fletcher Moon will be back again, sniffing out clues and tracking down criminals in many adventures to come.-Michele Winship 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.