Summary: Murder at Twilight
Murder at Twilight is one of the few middle-grade/young-adult mysteries I’ve read. The slash is because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out these kids’ ages. The book is marketed as middle-grade, but the mystery and plot (to me) convey the idea of older kids.
This story is set in the UK. Viv and Noah have grown up together — Viv’s mom works for Noah’s wealthy family — and have an obvious near-sibling-rivalry. Viv also resents Noah’s family’s influence and the fact that her mother has to work for them. The story opens with the two getting into a squabble right before school. They’re literally in Viv’s mother’s car about to be driven and Viv does end up smacking Noah and provoking a nosebleed (he’s prone to those).
However, her mother’s bloodstained car seat becomes an issue when Noah fails to return from school. Viv’s mother Lin becomes one of the main suspects for Noah’s kidnapping. Viv is sure that Noah is sulking and deliberately trying to upset his parents. But when she goes in search of him, they both become embroiled in a bigger, life-threatening mystery.
This book is riveting. I found the mystery quite compelling and even though I didn’t care too much for a lot of the drama, I wanted to know what would happen to the kids. Viv is a strong, fiery character of Asian descent whose race is not zoomed in on. I really enjoyed reading a story with two kids of such different socioeconomic statuses side by side. Noah is the last of a prominent (almost royal) bloodline, while Viv’s mother is his beloved nanny. If you enjoy books set in the UK, you’ll like this one for sure!
Readers who enjoy an action-packed novel will also love this book. I liked that while the mystery is realistic (for the most part), no one gets hurt too badly.
I found Noah and Viv’s relationship and constant squabbling to be mostly annoying. Also, never knowing exactly how old both kids were or even what grade (unless I missed something) they were in was so frustrating for me. Sometimes, they acted like middle-schoolers, and at other times, I was sure they were at least fifteen. A few of the side characters were also poorly developed and essentially interchangeable to me.
Overall: Murder at Twilight
I would definitely recommend this one! Murder at Twilight is a compulsively readable middle-grade mystery. Filled with suspenseful action and adventure, this middle-grade mystery-thriller also explores what happens when a privileged existence and second-class living collide. Lovers of whodunits and gentler thrillers will enjoy this one — it’s perfect for a cozy night in.
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More Middle-Grade Reviews
- Emily Out of Focus by Miriam Spitzer Franklin
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
- Shouting at the Rain by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Have you read this book or anything by Fleur Hitchcock? What did you think? Apparently, this is one of a set of middle-grade mystery series. I want to read the rest! I’m really beginning to enjoy middle-grade series. What are your favorite mystery books? I’d love to know!
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