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The London Eye Mystery

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Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prick Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to find the key to the mystery. In Spring 2009. the Unicorn Theatre adapted The London Eye Mystery for the stage. The story was adapted by Unicorn Artistic Associate Carl Miller, directed by Rosamunde Hutt and performed by the Unicorn ensemble and received a host of rave reviews.


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Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prick Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to find the key to the mystery. In Spring 2009. the Unicorn Theatre adapted The London Eye Mystery for the stage. The story was adapted by Unicorn Artistic Associate Carl Miller, directed by Rosamunde Hutt and performed by the Unicorn ensemble and received a host of rave reviews.

30 review for The London Eye Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gwen the Librarian

    This is just an indescribably fabulous novel. Ted has a different brain from other people - he says he runs on a different operating system. When a cousin comes to visit and then disappears, it's up to Ted and his sister Kat to solve the mystery since none of the adults will listen to their clues. Using the art of deduction and his unusal way of looking at the world, Ted discovers clues to the whereabouts of his cousin that no one else observed. What I love about this novel is the very frank way This is just an indescribably fabulous novel. Ted has a different brain from other people - he says he runs on a different operating system. When a cousin comes to visit and then disappears, it's up to Ted and his sister Kat to solve the mystery since none of the adults will listen to their clues. Using the art of deduction and his unusal way of looking at the world, Ted discovers clues to the whereabouts of his cousin that no one else observed. What I love about this novel is the very frank way Dowd describes Ted's autism and how he gets along without being able to understand the "language" of emotions and body signals. His compassionate teacher has taught him little tricks about facial expression to try to read people. I found Ted's "operating system" fascinating. The tragedy here is that Dowd died of cancer last fall. This is only her second published novel and it is just so fantastic. It's so sad to see such a great talent snuffed out early.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    This title came to my attention through Robin Stevens. I love her series of Murder Most Unladylike and I received a notification that she had written a completely new book, sequel to this one. The London Eye Mystery was written by the late Siobhan Dowd, author of Bog Child and A Monster Calls (through Ness), and features a 12-year old boy with Asperger's trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his cousin Alim at the London Eye. Children crime stories have bursted on the scene these l This title came to my attention through Robin Stevens. I love her series of Murder Most Unladylike and I received a notification that she had written a completely new book, sequel to this one. The London Eye Mystery was written by the late Siobhan Dowd, author of Bog Child and A Monster Calls (through Ness), and features a 12-year old boy with Asperger's trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his cousin Alim at the London Eye. Children crime stories have bursted on the scene these last few years, which I am all for, but it seems Siobhan was one of the first. The mystery is well crafted, in a realistic way, and the author does give you all the clues to get to the solution. As much as I enjoyed this aspect, what I really liked was the relationships between all the characters. Siobhan shows us the dynamics of this family, from Ted and his own way of perceiving the world around him, to his older sister, storming her way around events, and the working parents. All felt very real, and although this is seen from Ted's eyes, you still can understand each person's point of view. We get the vagaries of siblings relationships (Ted and Kat, but also their mother and aunt), divorced families, the difficulties of being outside what society considers the norm, whether being of mixed race (Alim and his friend) or having a totally different perception (Ted) - all in a very candid fashion. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give this novel 3.5 but I pushed it to 4 for what the author achieved here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    unknown

    This YA "mystery" is told from the point of view of a kid with Aspergers, which means the writing is really affected. This worked for me in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time because i believed, more or less, in the character. Here, it just seems like a plot device. After about 50 pages of dull set-up (kid's cousin boards the London Eye, never gets off, where did he go?) I got impatient and skipped to the end, skimming the last 50 or so pages for the resolution of what seemed a po This YA "mystery" is told from the point of view of a kid with Aspergers, which means the writing is really affected. This worked for me in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time because i believed, more or less, in the character. Here, it just seems like a plot device. After about 50 pages of dull set-up (kid's cousin boards the London Eye, never gets off, where did he go?) I got impatient and skipped to the end, skimming the last 50 or so pages for the resolution of what seemed a potentially intriguing locked room mystery. What actually happened was a let down, even considering the fact that I hadn't read the intervening 250 pages. And considering all the answers were given in, oh, the last 15 pages, I can't imagine having waded through all the tedious red herrings in-between. Book recommendation fail. That's what I get for reading book blogs at work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin Stevens

    A warm-hearted and very clever mystery story like no other, with a charming and strong hero. I loved this!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Waller

    Is it just me, or does this read like a slightly warmed-over *Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime*. The disappearance of a kid from a closed capsule on the London Eye is an intriguing mystery, but the only possible solutions pretty quickly close down to two, and the solving of the mystery seemed slightly anticlimactic. The novel also violates a principle that would have adult mystery fans howling - the key clue to the mystery is not available to the reader. Most crucially, though, is th Is it just me, or does this read like a slightly warmed-over *Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime*. The disappearance of a kid from a closed capsule on the London Eye is an intriguing mystery, but the only possible solutions pretty quickly close down to two, and the solving of the mystery seemed slightly anticlimactic. The novel also violates a principle that would have adult mystery fans howling - the key clue to the mystery is not available to the reader. Most crucially, though, is the presentation of what appears to be Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Much is made in the first few pages of the protagonist's inability to understand metaphorical language - but then he consistently deploys his own metaphors throughout the story, while occasionally relapsing to express confusion at "normal" people's use of figurative language. You can't have it both ways - if he is too literal minded to understand metaphors, he is too literal minded to create original metaphors; if he cannot understand the way that other people think, he cannot imaginatively put himself into other's places. And yet, he does. It's still a good read, but it would be superior with a little more consistency in depicting the kid's character.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    What goes up must come down – unless you’re Ted Sparks’ cousin Salim. Aunt Gloria and her teenage son Salim are preparing to move from Manchester, England to New York City. Before they leave for the United States, Gloria wants to visit her sister and her family in London. Salim has never been to London so his cousins Ted and Katrina are eager to show him the sights. They decide to visit one of Ted’s favorite places, the London Eye. The London Eye, also called the Millennium Wheel, is the tallest f What goes up must come down – unless you’re Ted Sparks’ cousin Salim. Aunt Gloria and her teenage son Salim are preparing to move from Manchester, England to New York City. Before they leave for the United States, Gloria wants to visit her sister and her family in London. Salim has never been to London so his cousins Ted and Katrina are eager to show him the sights. They decide to visit one of Ted’s favorite places, the London Eye. The London Eye, also called the Millennium Wheel, is the tallest ferris wheel in Europe. When they arrive at the Eye, there’s a long line for tickets. After a stranger approaches Ted, Kat and Salim to offer his ticket, the kids decide that Salim should take it and "fly the Eye" on his own. Ted and Kat track Salim's capsule during its half hour ride, but when the capsule comes down and people file out, Salim is nowhere in sight. Was he kidnapped? Did he run away? Did he spontaneously combust (one of Ted's eight theories)? After their parents contact the police, Ted and Kat decide to launch their investigation into their cousin’s disappearance. Ted has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism. Since his brain works on a “different operating system”, Kat and Ted think they may have an advantage over the police investigators. Can Ted’s unique perspective help them find Salim before it’s too late? I found The London Eye Mystery to be an interesting, fast read. It is not without some flaws, however. Ted and Kat withhold vital evidence from their parents and the police (such as Salim’s camera and information about the stranger who gave Salim his ticket). I never got past my disbelief that they would withhold so much evidence when their cousin was in a dangerous situation. Some of the British slang used throughout the book may be challenging for young American readers. I had no trouble with it, but a glossary like the one included in Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson series would have been a nice touch for the American edition. The London Eye Mystery really shines, though, in the character of Ted Sparks. Ted is a fascinating, sympathetic character. His Asperger’s Syndrome was well-portrayed and consistent with what I know of Asperger’s. Dowd did an effective job of showing how Ted deals with his social challenges. Dowd also showcased the positive aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome: Ted is extremely intelligent, honest and free of prejudice. It's obvious that a lot of research was put into his character. The London Eye Mystery was worth reading for Ted’s characterization alone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Radley

    Just having my lunch yesterday decided to have a rummage in the new book draw at work. When we were processing this book it caught my eye, I love the cover and the synopsis of the book sounded really interesting. Well 50 pages later thought I'd better get some work done. Ted and his sister Kat decide to take their cousin Salim on the London Eye before he flies to New York with his mum. Whilst in the queue a man comes up to them and offers them his ticket, saying he's chickened out at the last mi Just having my lunch yesterday decided to have a rummage in the new book draw at work. When we were processing this book it caught my eye, I love the cover and the synopsis of the book sounded really interesting. Well 50 pages later thought I'd better get some work done. Ted and his sister Kat decide to take their cousin Salim on the London Eye before he flies to New York with his mum. Whilst in the queue a man comes up to them and offers them his ticket, saying he's chickened out at the last minute as he doesn't like heights. Ted and Kat let Salim have the ticket as they've already been on the eye. They wave to Salim as he boards and then wait for him. But as his pod returns he doesn't get off, so where is he. He mum spends a few agonising days while the police search for him. But the police are not The only ones investigating Salim's disappearance, so are his cousins Ted and Kat. I love the character of Ted, he has Aspergers high on the spectrum, his brain runs on its own unique operating system, he also has a thing about the weather and wants to work for the Met Office and listens to the weather forecast on the radio every night......' Fitzroy, mainly northerly, four or five, becoming variable, thundery showers....'. This really took me back in time when I was young and the radio was on at home and the shipping forecast would come on at the end of the news at certain times of the day. A lovely story, easy read, fast paced which certainly keeps your attention.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    It took me a few pages to get into the narrative style of this book, which seemed at first artificially stilted and precise. Then I realized -- duh! -- that this was because our narrator, twelve-year-old Londoner Ted, has Asperger's syndrome. Pretty soon thereafter I got into the swing of Ted's way of telling the story and, though just once in a while I resented the painful literalness of some of his interpretations, in general I reveled in the novel's language. Ted's cousin Salim has come to sta It took me a few pages to get into the narrative style of this book, which seemed at first artificially stilted and precise. Then I realized -- duh! -- that this was because our narrator, twelve-year-old Londoner Ted, has Asperger's syndrome. Pretty soon thereafter I got into the swing of Ted's way of telling the story and, though just once in a while I resented the painful literalness of some of his interpretations, in general I reveled in the novel's language. Ted's cousin Salim has come to stay for a couple of days en route to Salim's mother's new job in New York, so Ted and his older sister Kat decide to take Salim for a trip on the London Eye. (Think of the largest and slowest ferris wheel you can imagine.) For various reasons, Salim boards the Eye ahead of the rest of the party and, when his compartment finally returns to the ground, he has vanished. Which is of course impossible. Well, Ted doesn't believe it is. In fact, he draws up a list of eight theories -- later expanded to nine -- that might explain Salim's disappearance. That spontaneous combustion is one of them and a time warp another doesn't seem incongruous to Ted: his brain functions a bit differently to the way other people's do, after all. Between them Ted and Kat -- essentially, Ted as the theoretician and Kat as the effector -- solve the "impossible" mystery of Salim's disappearance and, as a separate problem, track the boy down. Although written for and starring children, this is actually a pretty satisfying mystery novel that any fan of traditional detective fiction should enjoy, whatever their age. Certainly I did -- I romped through it pretty quickly, eager to find out what happened next and thoroughly enjoying the company of Kat and Ted. The page count is a bit misleading, by the way. The pages are quite small and the font reasonably generous, so really this is more like a 176-page book than a 320-page one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    For the benefit of Americans: the London Eye isn’t an eye at all, but a Ferris wheel so enormous that riders can see 25 miles in all directions. Londoners Ted and Kat Spark take their visiting 13-year-old cousin Salim to ride the London Eye; it is Salim who takes a free ticket to ride the attraction, but he never exits the London Eye when the ride is done! Twelve-year-old Ted struggles with some of the more common effects of autism: He has an obsession (weather); when upset, he flaps his hands a For the benefit of Americans: the London Eye isn’t an eye at all, but a Ferris wheel so enormous that riders can see 25 miles in all directions. Londoners Ted and Kat Spark take their visiting 13-year-old cousin Salim to ride the London Eye; it is Salim who takes a free ticket to ride the attraction, but he never exits the London Eye when the ride is done! Twelve-year-old Ted struggles with some of the more common effects of autism: He has an obsession (weather); when upset, he flaps his hands and goes “Hrumm”; he struggles with slang and idioms, which he takes literally; he has trouble with hugs, making eye contact and determining facial expressions; he paces when thinking or stressed. (My daughters with autism didn’t grunt or flap their hands, but they were beset with the other issues.) But Ted has an advantage over his older sister Kat, his parents, his Aunt Gloria (Salim’s mother) and even the police. As he says at the book’s beginning, “This is how having a funny brain that runs on a different operating system from other people’s helped me to figure out what had happened.” Siobhan Dowd’s suspenseful middle-grade mystery will enthrall both its target audience and their parents; I couldn’t stop reading this riveting mystery! Fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are in for a treat with another novel of a young man with autism and a drive to solve a mystery. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lari Don

    I’ve seen this book on the bookshop shelves many times, and never bought it because of the overly blatant ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ title and the somewhat garish cover. But I finally noticed that it was by Siobhan Dowd, and belatedly bought it for my 11 year old, who stayed up very late one night to finish it (it’s the Christmas holidays, so that was fine) because, as she said, it’s about a boy who goes missing, and she REALLY needed find out if he was ok… So, on her recommendation, I’ve seen this book on the bookshop shelves many times, and never bought it because of the overly blatant ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ title and the somewhat garish cover. But I finally noticed that it was by Siobhan Dowd, and belatedly bought it for my 11 year old, who stayed up very late one night to finish it (it’s the Christmas holidays, so that was fine) because, as she said, it’s about a boy who goes missing, and she REALLY needed find out if he was ok… So, on her recommendation, I’ve just read it too. And it is a very good mystery! (A mystery set around the London Eye, so it does do exactly what it says on the cover…) Salim gets on the London Eye, watched by his two cousins Ted and Kat, and they never see him get off again. While the adults around them (parents, aunts, uncles, police) do all the usual things (ask friends and neighbours, put appeals on the TV) Ted and Kat try to think through all the possibilities logically. And as Ted’s brain works on a differently operating system from everyone else’s – his own words - (it’s never spelled out, but there are hints of autism) he is very persistent and logical. He is prepared to examine all potential theories (even spontaneous combustion and timewarps – though he dismisses those two quite early on) and he might just manage to solve the mystery before it’s too late… The story is beautifully straightforward – a problem, potential solutions, chasing down leads and eliminating possibilities – which leaves plenty of time to enjoy spending time with weather-obsessed Ted. He wants to be a meteorologist, and while he has a problem with most metaphors and figures of speech, he does love language and phrases based on weather. It’s a simple story, but with real depth (especially when a body matching Salim’s description is found near the Thames) and great characters. I really should know better than to be put off by covers and titles…

  11. 5 out of 5

    Edie

    I am not a big fan of books that try to get into the minds of people who don't think in the "normal" way (whatever that is) because I feel that the author might not get it right and give a false representation of that unusual way of thinking, or else give others the sense that their depiction is the way it is for everyone who thinks differently in that manner (I don't think I am being very articulate). And this book makes me uncomfortable along those lines. Also, the cataloger places it under th I am not a big fan of books that try to get into the minds of people who don't think in the "normal" way (whatever that is) because I feel that the author might not get it right and give a false representation of that unusual way of thinking, or else give others the sense that their depiction is the way it is for everyone who thinks differently in that manner (I don't think I am being very articulate). And this book makes me uncomfortable along those lines. Also, the cataloger places it under thd Asperger's syndrome but Ted's "different" way of thinking is never categorized in the book. There is a real flatness to the story that may be the author's attempt to reflect how Ted thinks, since he is the narrator, but that kept the story from coming alive for me and my students have not responded positively to it, their comments, "it's okay" which I agree with. That said, the strength of this book is in portraying a character who thinks differently and is trying to learn to fit in (the social cues his parents and others have given him which he tries to absorb are one example) and he comes off as very competent and compassionate and just a good kid that you like and hope things will go well for....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Al

    I read this with a zany ten year old from Mars. He bloody loved it, and so did I. What he loved was that there is an actual story. He also spotted the differences in the kids and was very indignant on their behalf. Particularly for the kid who made me cry. You know the one ! What I loved was the humour, kindness and compassion. This is a clever and lovely book which demands discussion and chocolate. In our case it lead to a,midnight feast. A quote from the brilliant ten year old who I am lucky to I read this with a zany ten year old from Mars. He bloody loved it, and so did I. What he loved was that there is an actual story. He also spotted the differences in the kids and was very indignant on their behalf. Particularly for the kid who made me cry. You know the one ! What I loved was the humour, kindness and compassion. This is a clever and lovely book which demands discussion and chocolate. In our case it lead to a,midnight feast. A quote from the brilliant ten year old who I am lucky to share a,planet with : " There's enough room for everyone in this world. You don't have to be rich or funny, but if you can be kind to people who collect light bulbs, then you've earned your place on Earth" Gulp. But it and read it !! I would say suitable for kids 8-150

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    The story is based in London and an extended family, the story extends to include things which may happen in life and helps to make this story interesting. It looks at many categories such as culture, broken families and special needs and this gave many focussed talking points. It is an informative book but also a great read even for adults. It was also used as a Yr 6 topic of work and the children seemed to love it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This truly was an amazing book. The way all of the pieces in the book came together in the end is a sign of an incredible author. I loved the way Salim said "neek" didn't stand for nerd and geek, but was an abbreviation of "unique". That statement is truly true. I wish I had the brains like Ted!... But I'm fine with the one I have right now.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    A reasonably good mystery for younger readers, but I found the characterisation of the Asperger's protagonist/narrator inconsistent and not always believable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)

    I enjoyed this clever charismatic middle grade novel, which follows Ted and his sister Kat as they investigate the disappearance of their cousin Salim from the London Eye. It’s serious at the same time as being sweet, and is smart about familial relationships. I thought Ted’s first person narration was well done, for the most part, with a nuanced approach to Aspergers. I’d probably recommend this for younger readers, 8-10. Looking forward to reading Robin Stevens’ sequel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bailey

    First of all, I should go into how I found this book in the first place. When reading "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness, I noticed it credited Siobhan Dowd as having the idea for the book. I looked into this a little bit more and learned that Siobhan Dowd had mapped out the storyline for her next book, and she tragically passed away before she could actually write the book. In her honor, Ness wrote the book using her notes, and in his forward for the book spoke very highly of her and told me I s First of all, I should go into how I found this book in the first place. When reading "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness, I noticed it credited Siobhan Dowd as having the idea for the book. I looked into this a little bit more and learned that Siobhan Dowd had mapped out the storyline for her next book, and she tragically passed away before she could actually write the book. In her honor, Ness wrote the book using her notes, and in his forward for the book spoke very highly of her and told me I should read something by her if I hadn't yet, so I did. As a matter of fact, I felt a little stupid and bad, because I hadn't actually even heard of Siobhan Dowd before. When I looked at the local library, I found this story which seemed very appealing to me, as I love London and have spent some time there. Now, on to the book review. It follows a young boy with Asperger's, which is never named but is merely referred to as his "syndrome" that causes his brain to operate in a different way from other people's. During a visit from his Aunt and cousin, his cousin mysteriously goes missing during a solo ride on the London Eye while Ted (our hero) and his sister are waiting down below. They watched him board the Eye, they watched him go round once, and then they watched all the passengers of his car disembark. There's only one problem. There is no Cousin Salim. The rest of the book follows Ted as he attempts his own investigation, with the help of his sister. Firstly, this is a book appropriate for young readers, so I review it as such. While it may not be as polished or complicated as something I might read as an adult, I don't think it necessarily should be. The plot is more simply drawn, and the conclusion, while still creative, is fairly mild. It's not one that's going to blow the reader away. But hey, it's written for 10 year olds, so adults shouldn't necessarily expect Gillian Flynn, am I right? I think a book like this is a great introduction to the mystery genre for young readers, and I did enjoy the portrayal of a main character with Asperger's. I felt that Ted's voice was very authentic, and I enjoyed the quirky aspects of his personality. It's short and to the point, and the audio is very skillfully done by Paul Chequer (I'm remembering that off the top of my head, so I hope I got it right. Apologies to the reader if I didn't).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lillian Meyer

    The London Eye Mystery is the story of how Ted and Kat, who are brother and sister, try to find out what happened to their cousin Salim. All they know is that Salim got onto the London Eye and never got off. This puzzling story had me putting pieces together and figuring everything out till the very end. The London Eye Mystery takes twist and turns and keeps you sucked in till the end. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book was all the British slang the author included in the writing. The London Eye Mystery is the story of how Ted and Kat, who are brother and sister, try to find out what happened to their cousin Salim. All they know is that Salim got onto the London Eye and never got off. This puzzling story had me putting pieces together and figuring everything out till the very end. The London Eye Mystery takes twist and turns and keeps you sucked in till the end. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book was all the British slang the author included in the writing. It was the simple things she put in that they would say in the UK, but not in America. Some examples are when the parents say, "Ted, get the post" (Dowd 6) or when Kate would tell her brother, "get stuffed, you creep" (Dowd 8). In America we would say, 'get the mail' and 'go away'. I really liked that she did this, it helped really set the scene for the entire story. Another reason I enjoyed the book was because the main character, Ted, had Asperger syndrome. I feel like it gave the reader a different way of viewing the story and Ted's life.I also liked that at first the author didn't tell you that Ted had Aspergers, you had to think about why he was talking differently then she told the readers later. In the story Salim asks about Ted's syndrome and Ted says, " It means I am very good at thinking about facts and how things work and the doctors say I am at the high-functioning end of the spectrum" (Dowd 37). I feel like it was a good description and helped you really understand why he talked and thought out things the way he did. I didn't have exact moments that were my favorite because everything worked together, nothing really stood out to me. I loved the story as a whole and the little details Dowd put into the story. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a good mystery. It kept me intrigued by putting pieces together all throughout the story till you found out what happened in the end.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kieran Fanning

    I first encountered the work of Siobhan Dowd when I was a judge for the Bisto Book of the year, now titled The CBI Book of the year. Her debut novel, A Swift Pure Cry, blew us all away with its beautiful and emotionally charged prose, and its tragic and fragile main character, Shell. I then read, Solace of the Road, about another troubled teenager, albeit in a different era. And more recently, I reviewed The Ransom of Dond, with stunning illustrations by Pam Smy. I love the work of Siobhan Dowd I first encountered the work of Siobhan Dowd when I was a judge for the Bisto Book of the year, now titled The CBI Book of the year. Her debut novel, A Swift Pure Cry, blew us all away with its beautiful and emotionally charged prose, and its tragic and fragile main character, Shell. I then read, Solace of the Road, about another troubled teenager, albeit in a different era. And more recently, I reviewed The Ransom of Dond, with stunning illustrations by Pam Smy. I love the work of Siobhan Dowd, and Robert Dunbar's recent "Top 50 Irish Children's Novels" in Inis magazine prompted me to hunt down Dowd's remaining titles. The London Eye Mystery particularly interested me because it is the only Dowd title pitched at Middle Grade readers. The premise is immediately captivating. MC, Ted, visits the London Eye with his cousin Salim. Salim gets into a pod and Ted watches it make its half hour orbit through the sky. But when the doors of the pod open again, Salim has vanished! Ted, with his big sister Kat, become intrepid detectives, and set out to solve the mystery, as their parents, aunt and uncle crumple under the stress of the situation. The London Eye Mystery is a good old-fashioned detective story, and the short chapters and pacey plot will be enough to hold the interest of any child of 10+. But more notable than the plot, is the character of Ted. A child, clearly on the autistic spectrum, makes for an unusual MC. The boy, whose brain "runs on its own unique operating system", has trouble dealing with the simple things in life, but is perfectly equipped to see what the adults (including the police!) can't. His logic and obsession with meteorology make for amusing scenarios and interesting perspectives. Dowd's observation skills and writing are impeccable throughout and I find it hard to flaw anything about The London Eye Mystery. 4 stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I just finished reading this with a Year 6 class, and they loved it. The story follows 12-year-old Ted and his 14-year-old sister (Kat) as they try to find out what happened to their cousin (Salim) who mysteriously went missing when the three of them went on a trip to The London Eye. Ted, the narrator of the story, is on the autistic spectrum, and has what he describes as a 'different operating system' from other people. He is obsessed by weather systems and is very literal, often misunderstandi I just finished reading this with a Year 6 class, and they loved it. The story follows 12-year-old Ted and his 14-year-old sister (Kat) as they try to find out what happened to their cousin (Salim) who mysteriously went missing when the three of them went on a trip to The London Eye. Ted, the narrator of the story, is on the autistic spectrum, and has what he describes as a 'different operating system' from other people. He is obsessed by weather systems and is very literal, often misunderstanding idioms and jokes, and he finds it very difficult to lie. He is a brilliant narrator, and it was great to be able to discuss autism with the children when led by such a safe pair of hands. In fact, there were a lot of difficult subjects to discuss along the way, including gender and racism, prompting conversations we wouldn't have had if we hadn't read the book. The story itself was engaging and exciting, although I felt the last third of the book was a bit of an anti-climax. It all felt a bit rushed and convenient to me, which was a shame because it had been so full of nuance and suspense before this. That said, the kids really enjoyed it, and since they're its target audience, I'd say it was an overall success.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    The London Eye Mystery caught my attention for two reasons. The first is because Siobhan Dowd is said to be the original creator of the (fantastic) book A Monster Calls, and it's set in London and the (fantastic) London Eye obviously plays a large part in the story. As far as a mystery book, The London Eye Mystery did not disappoint. I definitely wasn't able to guess the ending even though Dowd did a wonderful job of hinting towards it. The story comes from the point of view of Ted, a young boy w The London Eye Mystery caught my attention for two reasons. The first is because Siobhan Dowd is said to be the original creator of the (fantastic) book A Monster Calls, and it's set in London and the (fantastic) London Eye obviously plays a large part in the story. As far as a mystery book, The London Eye Mystery did not disappoint. I definitely wasn't able to guess the ending even though Dowd did a wonderful job of hinting towards it. The story comes from the point of view of Ted, a young boy with a certain syndrome that makes his brain work like a computer. He and his older sister Kat have a very typical older sister/younger brother relationship, but it is put to the test when their cousin Salim and Aunt Gloria come to visit before the relatives move to New York City. When Salim mysteriously disappears on the London Eye, Ted and Kat must put aside their differences and fears to try and figure out what has happened to their cousin. Kids can't just vanish out out of a sealed pod on The Eye, or can they?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    What a great young adult mystery by Siobhan Dowd! I've been meaning to read it for a while, and I finally picked it up when I was desperate for a good mystery read. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's respect for children and their intelligence and worth, The London Eye Mystery has as its main character and narrator a boy named Ted, whose brain is wired differently than those around him, enabling him to view the world from a less constricted place. When his cousin, Salim, comes for a visit and disappear What a great young adult mystery by Siobhan Dowd! I've been meaning to read it for a while, and I finally picked it up when I was desperate for a good mystery read. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's respect for children and their intelligence and worth, The London Eye Mystery has as its main character and narrator a boy named Ted, whose brain is wired differently than those around him, enabling him to view the world from a less constricted place. When his cousin, Salim, comes for a visit and disappears from a ride on the London Eye, Ted must use all his creative thinking and his sister Kat's help at reading people to determine what happened to Salim. The adults involved are predictably dismissive of Ted's observations and deductions, excepting the police inspector in charge of the investigation. As well as a puzzling mystery, Dowd provides a gentle prodding at how adults should be more open to a child's insights, especially those who are easily discarded because of their "different wiring."

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Frankham

    A fun read, narrated by a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome. Aimed at youth readers, I think, and hits the mark. The GR blurb: 'Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their pri A fun read, narrated by a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome. Aimed at youth readers, I think, and hits the mark. The GR blurb: 'Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to find the key to the mystery.'

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Agreeing with those who said it's a bit reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, although for a younger audience. It is a fast paced story, and I think the audience will enjoy solving the mystery with the kids, although I'm not sure they have the clues to do so as much as they can follow along? My peeve with the book is in its shape, and this is my new peeve. This is not a 400 page book, but the trim size is so small it makes it seem long. Its not pleasurable (to me) to Agreeing with those who said it's a bit reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, although for a younger audience. It is a fast paced story, and I think the audience will enjoy solving the mystery with the kids, although I'm not sure they have the clues to do so as much as they can follow along? My peeve with the book is in its shape, and this is my new peeve. This is not a 400 page book, but the trim size is so small it makes it seem long. Its not pleasurable (to me) to read a small but fat book. Anyone know the source of this trend?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    We listened to the audio edition, and my almost 10 year-old son and I were absolutely riveted by the story. The narration, by Paul Chequer is excellent, so much so, that when we returned from our road trip with only a fraction of our audio book listened to (as usual), rather than finishing the book more quickly in paperback, we kept listening to it in the car, whenever possible. I found myself wanting to make excuses to go out driving and get stuck in traffic.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chris Griggs

    At one point it says: "I counted the people in the room. Seven. I tried to guess the ages of those I didn't know. Then I added up the ages, actual or approximate, of all present. When I arrived at the figure of 233, and worked out the average age was 33.3 recurring". It's not. It's 33.2857143.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Abood

    I read this book tragically after Dowd died. I got it for free from school. This book had an interesting concept and an interesting plot for me, unfortunately however, I found the characters and execution underwhelming which is why I could only give this 3 stars. I don't know, I think I was expecting some killer plot twist at the end and that didn't happen.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eva Boettcher

    I've decided to not finish this book but I didn't want to leave it there because I wanted to write a short review. To be honest it's simply badly written the plot is great but the actual writing hasn't very good. That just puts me off.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grace Lin

    This book was great! One of the best MG mysteries I've read, with dimensional characters and no annoying loose ends. Really impressed and was incredibly sad when I looked up the author and realized she was deceased.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    This book is written from the point of view of a boy with a unique syndrome that makes him very smart. I also enjoyed that it took place around the London landmark the London eye which I have ridden on a prior trip to London. I also enjoyed the simplicity of a young adult book!

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