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Riz Chester: The Counterfeit Bust

By R A Stephens
Illustrated by Em Hammond
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
R A Stephens runs publishing houses Wombat Books and Rhiza Edge, and also writes and edits individually both for their own company and for other publishers. They are primarily interested in writing work that mixes science and maths with children’s fiction.
Riz Chester is in Year 3 and  is a serious young girl who notices things, things that most people miss. For example, the cheese at the tuckshop is now a different brand and the packet of chips they sell has got smaller. She keeps a record of her observations in her Weird Stuff Log because if she mentions any of the things she notices people look at her funny.
One day while shopping with her Mum she notices that a ten dollar note is different from the others. This is money so should she mention it? She does and what follows is a little alarming. The police are interested in her views but it is all a bit overwhelming. This doesn’t stop her from deciding to get some of her friends to help her discover more about where the counterfeit notes come from.
This is a straightforward detective story where the plucky heroine doesn’t face any dangers but does have to use her reasoning and deductive powers to arrive at conclusions. It also involves teamwork, careful note-taking and enrolling the help of her older brother.
Newly independent readers will enjoy the realism and the down-to-earth storytelling. The Counterfeit Bust is the first in a series with The Fingerprint Code to be published later in the year.

Wombat Books 2023

1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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