Title: I Have a Hunch
Author: Jeremy Decoursey
Year of Publication: 2019
Genre: Middle-Grade Mystery
Number of Pages: 294
Summary: From Goodreads: “Summer holidays are for relaxing, spending time with friends and listening to great music. All things that Alice desperately wanted to do. Instead she was sent to London to work with her Uncle Humphrey, a world famous private detective. Things start to get interesting when they’re employed to investigate the mysterious murder of millionaire, Victor Tymm. Together they start to gather clues before they run out of time, and the killer can strike again.”
Review: Thank you, Book Sirens, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alice is the niece of Humphrey Bach, a world-famous private detective. Humphrey’s managed to crack cases that the police couldn’t solve, and he’s like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. When Alice comes to work for him during her summer holidays, she doesn’t know what to expect. When a potential client comes storming into the office to ask for help solving the murder of the millionaire, Victor Tymm, Alice gets to go on her first crime-solving adventure.
This book was a lot of fun to read because it was full of so much wordplay. Early on, Humphrey explains to Alice what a homophone is, and the book is full of homophones and wordplay. There’s a character who works at the library whose name is Dewey; the gardener Herbert wants to plant an herb garden; even Humphrey Bach is a play on words because Uncle Humphrey has Kyphosis, or a hunched back. I loved all of the wordplay, and I thought the way that it tied into the mystery was very clever.
I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book, and it reminded me of a Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes adventure. I liked the different characters that Humphrey and Alice meet on the estate, and I enjoyed the interview and clue finding process. I thought the mystery was full of exciting twists and turns, and even though I figured out who did it, I thought the buildup to the end was exciting.
I also liked that there was a larger, over-arching mystery going on in the background. There’s a string of connected cases that Humphrey hasn’t been able to solve, and they’re mentioned throughout the book. I liked that this left it open for there to be more books, which I will probably read.
It took me a little while to warm up to Alice, but once I did, I didn’t mind her. There were a few moments where I thought she was acting a bit immature, but then I remember that she’s thirteen and that normal thirteen-year-olds are sometimes immature. I liked Humphrey, and I liked how passionate he was about solving mysteries. I also liked that he didn’t let his Kyphosis get in the way of doing what he loved.
Overall, this was a fun book to read. I liked the mystery, and I thought the wordplay gave it a unique twist. It wasn’t my favourite mystery, but I’m curious enough to check out more Humphrey Bach mysteries.
Rating: 3.5 Stars!