Martin Chatterton's The Brain Full of Holes is the second in a mystery series for middle school readers. This review does not contain spoilers for the new novel, but assumes you've read the first (The Brain Finds a Leg: Review).
Theopilus Nero Hercule Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain (a.k.a. The Brain) and his sidekick Sheldon McGlone have a lot to adjust to. Not only are they now step-brothers but they have moved to Switzerland with Sheldon's mom and her new husband, Captain Schnurrbart. Besides regular classroom subjects, The Brain and Sheldon are also taking classes in self-defense.
Life seems to be going along as normal, until the day their Swiss cheese suddenly lost its holes. The Brain is instantly on the case, but Sheldon, as usual, is more interested in eating his sandwich than in thinking about it. That is, until the night Helga Poom of the Zurich Pooms walks into their house:
She removed her hat, shivered, and shook out her long blonde hair.Needless to say, Sheldon is smitten. The Brain seems somewhat immune to Helga's charms and takes the time to learn that her father has gone missing. Can the three young teens find Mr. Poom? And what does he have to do with altered cheese?
Sheldon goggled. He could have sworn her hair tumbled out in slow motion and was accompanied by a chorus of heavenly harp players twanging away fit to bust. (p. 24)
I highly recommend The Brain series to young teens (both boys and girls) who like a fun and zany mystery, good humor, and fast action. I was pleased to see the introduction of a smart, independent girl to the books. The developing love story between Sheldon and Helga is very well done--Sheldon's awkwardness is endearing, especially contrasted with Helga's self-assurance. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
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Published by Peachtree Publishers, 2010
Challenges: cozy mystery, 100+
YTD: 50Source: Review copy (see review policy)Rating: B+