I told my mother - age, 80 plus - about all the books I read while away and she asked, "Have you read any more books about that boy who starts a detective business?" Um? I honestly could not remember the series she was referring to. It had to be a book I lent to her but...
Then she added, "His parents were in the theater. And he called himself something like a solver."
Bing! YES! Mister Max by Cynthia Voigt. And, no, I had not read the second book in the series. But, now I have!!! I am so lucky my mother has a good memory.
Mister Max : The Book of Secrets continues the story of Max Starling, or Mister Max, Solutioneer. The problems Max must solve range from a schoolboy's concerns about the boy's father, to the mayor's problems with arson in the Old City. There is a possible romance, a coded letter from Max's missing parents, and some spatting with his self-proclaimed assistant, Pia Bendiff.
Max's grandmother has some secrets of her own that Max has to unravel as well.
Voigt travels into dangerous territory here, as in, Max finds himself in peril, tied up and blindfolded. And, the coded letter makes his parents' plight all too real. Max and his grandmother have to do something to bring Max's parents home.
Max is an astonishingly perspicacious 12-year-old. He is able to phrase questions and offer solutions in the most convincing and subtle ways. When it comes to his personal life and the people closest to him, he does not see things that clearly. Whew! I was afraid he was going to be a super-teen. I enjoy his stubborn streak and I want to shake him all at the same time. His insistence on being independent, even though he found the money his father hid in their house, is a little maddening. He's lucky his grandmother is so understanding!
I think I will pre-order Mister Max : The Book of Kings so my mother doesn't have to remind me of the books I want to read.