Narrator: Amy McFadden
Series: 14 Day Mystery,
Published by Brilliance Audio on 11 July 2013
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective
Length: 6 hours 21 minutes
First Line(s): You know that line about being “saved by the bell?” Well, its a lie.
14 Day Mystery Series Order:
Book 1 – Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking
Book 2 – Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting
Book 3 – Untitled
Anyone who has spent any real length of time in Massachusetts, and probably New England, has heard about the art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. If not, then just click here to read all the details. Its such a fascinating and baffling case that will most likely remain unsolved and so I was so excited to hear that Erin Dionne was writing a book about it. Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking is a great what if book based on the whole Gardner Museum heist and Boston’s infamous gangster history. In Moxie, her grandfather used to do side jobs for the mob using his carpentry skills to hide hot pieces until the heat wore off and the goods could be more easily moved. He was hired to hide the stolen pieces from the Gardner Museum and then he never told the ones that pulled off the crime where they were.
Years pass and now Moxie finds herself confronted with an emissary from Sully Cupcakes (the art thief) who tells her that she has just 2 weeks to find and give the pieces over to Sully…or else. Moxie is a feisty and head-strong girl and so she dives into this mystery head first and if truth be told not always looking where she is going first. Fortunately, she has her BFF Ollie to help her out and help to keep her grounded as the pressure starts to mount. I loved the friendship between Moxie and Ollie and I loved how while they didn’t always get along they always knew deep down that they were the very best of friends who would do anything for the other. Even if those things involved a little breaking and entering.
Moxie is smart and funny and I loved how she used logic and a math proof to help her work through figuring out the mystery. Even if the whole math proof portion of the story made my eye twitch a little….I love math…but proofs…I was never a fan. lol I also loved how close Moxie was to her mom and grandparents. Her relationship with them was so realistic…even when she was keeping secrets and sneaking around. I enjoyed how Moxie is at that age where she’s still young and innocent but is also starting to become a young adult and gain new freedoms – like the ability to head into Town (aka Boston with only her BFF) – and how she is also starting to test those rules and see how much she can get away with. Then dealing with the consequences when she gets caught. I do love a book with consequences.
The mystery itself was a bit unrealistic at times as I don’t see two kids being able to do all the things that they did in the story. On the other hand though, it was fast paced and fun and if I suspended belief a bit then it did feel real. The only way to know for sure would be to try and break in to Fenway or the State House on my own…but as I am not as coordinated as Moxie then I don’t think I’ll be trying that out anytime soon. lol
Another fun thing that I loved about Moxie was Dionne’s use of vocabulary words. She doesn’t talk down to her intended audience and works in big and semi-complicated words in a way that doesn’t make it seem like you are learning anything. She not only tosses them into the dialogue and inner monologue but she works in the definition is a clean, non-info dump kind of way. Which for me, took away from the horrors that the memory of math proofs brought to mind.
Moxie was a really fun book with a quick and easy mystery that really sweeps the reader along. The characters are all realistic and they make you wish that they were real so that you could know them in real life. I’m excited that there will be more mysteries to come that feature Ollie and Moxie as I hated for this book to end. This was a fun read and one that I think young teens and adults can both enjoy.
About the Narrator:
Amy McFadden was a new narrator to me and I really enjoyed the style that she used for Moxie. She managed to do a Boston accent in such a way that made me believe she was from the heart of the city. All too often I am left cringing a bit when someone does a Boston accent as its just so over the top. There were times when it was hard to tell who was speaking when but overall I think McFadden did a good job telling this story. This may have been the first time I listened to a book narrated by McFadden but I don’t think will be the last.
Enter to win a signed hardcover copy of Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne. US/Canada only.