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Friday Barnes #9: No Escape

By R.A. Spratt

Reviewed by Sarah Custance

R.A. Spratt is the well-known Australian author of the Nanny Piggins, Peski Kids, and Friday Barnes series of books. Friday Barnes: No Escape is the 9th book in the series and the first to be released after a three year break.

Friday Barnes is back! It’s been two years since Friday said her goodbyes to Ian with the promise to meet again and much has happened since. After being imprisoned over terrorist charges for the last eleven months Friday steps out of prison and back to school life with one major change, no more sleuthing, ever. It is a difficult rule to keep though when Uncle Bernie phones from Italy with a desperate plea for Friday’s help with a case.

What happens when you throw in an ex-boyfriend, ice-cream making nuns, 30 hormonal, rich-snobby teenagers on an international fieldtrip, and millions of dollars’ worth of art that is about to be stolen? Has Friday really given up sleuthing for good or will the temptation prove more than she can handle?

This new instalment will delight old fans of the series as we are reintroduced to beloved characters, both friend and foe, as Friday sets out on yet another fun, fast paced adventure, filled with both small and large mysteries and twist at every corner. As this book is set two years after the last it now means that Friday is 15 years old and as such the book places more emphasis on some relationship aspects than any of the previous books.

While the series is still very much based at a middle-grade audience the characters ages are now more in fitting with a YA series, for this reason alone I would recommend not to start with this book. The series will make much more sense and have a much nicer flow if it is read in order.

Friday Barnes is an excellent and clever read for any fans of mystery and with another book on the way now is as good a time as any to jump on the sleuthing train and join this well written, witty series.

Puffin 2021

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