By: H.J. Harper
Illustrated By: Nahum Ziersch
George Feather spends his days cleaning chimneys, that is until the day he finds out about the Bureau of Mysteries, a group of investigators and inventors who live at the Brass Castle Hotel. After rescuing them George is invited to help them stop the villains of the Clockwork Octopus Society. The Society has started creating havoc in the city and it is up to George and his new partner Imp to follow the evidence and crack the codes left behind by their suspects. This is a whole lot different to George’s life as a chimney sweep and George has to quickly adjust to being chased my mechanical insects, evil ghosts and mutated nurse sharks. With all that is going on will the Bureau be able to discover who the mastermind behind the Clockwork Octopus Society is and save the city?
An entertaining story that put me in mind of the Encyclopedia Brown books I read as a kid. It is a chapter book but within that it contains four stories, with each of the villains having their own mini story. The Bureau members are quirky, George is enthusiastic and appealing. The real hook for this book though is the code aspect. Through the stories many different codes are used and you are expected to work out the codes before moving on. With the variety of codes used an interested reader could have plenty of fun even once the book is finished.