Friday, January 18, 2013

Book in Review: The Scratch on the Ming Vase by Caroline Stellings

The Scratch on the Ming Vase by Caroline Stellings
Published by Second Story Press, 2012.

An attack on her kung-fu master leads a budding spy on a mysterious adventure

Born in China, Nicki Haddon was adopted by a wealthy North American family as a baby. Now sixteen, she has a talent for kung fu beyond her years, a fierce independent streak, and a growing curiosity about her birth family.

Nicki is all set to train with at the Fire Dragon Academy with David Kahana, a kung fu grand master, when she reports to the studio to find him stabbed and lying in a pool of blood. As he lapses into a coma, he begs her to find a priceless Ming dynasty vase that once belonged to Pu Yi, the Boy Emperor.

Over seven days of danger and deception, Nicki will rely on her wits, her martial arts training, and some unexpected allies – including Fenwick, the family butler – to uncover the criminal mastermind behind the plot to steal the vase.

A Nicki Haddon Mystery

Why I Read This:

I like a good cozy mystery.

What I Thought:

For such a little book, I did have great fun reading this one.

Nicki Haddon, the daughter of North American hotel tycoons and kung fu champion, visits the Fire Dragon Academy to start her training with one of the masters there. Only, when she arrives Nicki finds he's been stabbed. Before the police arrive David asks her to retrieve a Ming vase from his hotel room for him.

On her quest for the Ming vase, Nicki finds that it's been replaced with a fake. There is a mystery in this. And she intends to find out what.

I really liked the story. Nicki was such a fun character to be around. The way she goes about sleuthing and using her martial arts throughout the book made her a pleasure to be around. She was smart, whimsical, and kick-butt. She was also very kind and though she could have used her money and her name as ways to get certain information I liked that she found ways around this.

The Scratch on the Ming Vase is especially great for the younger YA crowd. This one is all about the action and mystery surrounding the missing Ming vase. There is a more serious side to the book - that is, some serious things do happen like attempted murder, attempted suicide, and then there is that issue of privaledged status that Nicki deals with in her every day life.  

My rating:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

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1 comment:

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