01 July 2009

The Walk Right In Detective Agency Series

Book 1: Open For Business
Book 1: High Crime in Milk Bay

by Moya Simons

Walker Books. Australian, Junior. Paperback rrp $14.95

Guest Reviewer Jo Burnell

Both Open for Business and High Crime in Milk Bay were short listed in the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award (Upper Primary). There are several good reasons.

Both books are fast-paced and funny. Mischief is indeed afoot. In Open for Business, David and Bernice set up the ‘Walk Right In’ Detective Agency. With each mystery solved, their business grows. Bernice is the creative thinker, David the facts man. He tells the story from his uniquely male point of view. His quirky way of describing things will have girls hooked too.

The mysteries in Book 1 are not life threatening. The reader joins the budding detectives on a fun-filled rollercoaster without too much danger lurking in the shadows. This is the perfect beginning to an enjoyable series. The characters are every day kids with common dilemmas that need sorting. David and Bernice’s challenge is to find ways of fixing things to everyone’s satisfaction and make money as well if they can.

There’s a twinkle in my eye as I’m unable to resist turning the pages. Plenty of hints on how to record observations and join seemingly unrelated clues make the story speed by. I love the double twist at the end.

In High Crime in Milk Bay, the stakes are raised. Is David imagining things or is a serious crime being committed under his parents’ noses? Does David have superior observation skills or an over active imagination? David and Bernice bicker at times, but they are a close-knit team. The mystery in this book can’t be solved without the two of them, but are lives really at stake in sleepy Milk Bay? The suspense compels page-turning.

Both books are short easy reads but full of ideas for budding detectives. It’s hard not to notice potential clues in every day life when the books are set aside.



  1. I quite agree with this reviewer. I find Ms. Simons books entertaining, funny and hard to put down.

    I even let my young ones read them!!


  2. I only started reading these yesterday and I already love them