In this second book of the middle-grade Adventures on Trains series, amateur sleuth Hal Beck travels to the U.S. with his uncle to ride a famous train–the California Comet–and stumbles on a new mystery to solve, in M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman’s Kidnap on the California Comet…
After his adventure on the Highland Falcon, amateur sleuth Hal Beck is excited to embark on another journey with his journalist uncle. This time, they’re set to ride the historic California Comet from Chicago to San Francisco.
Hal mostly keeps to himself on the trip, feeling homesick and out of place in America. But he soon finds himself drawn into another mystery when the young daughter of a billionaire tech entrepreneur goes missing!
Along with new friends–spunky 13-year-old Mason and his younger sister, Hadley–Hal races against the clock to find the missing girl before the California Comet reaches its final destination.
Title: Kidnap on the California Comet (Adventures on Trains, #2)
Authors: M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
This middle-grade mystery was the perfect read for sleuths both young and old!
I loved getting to know Hal, the new Sherlock Holmes for kids. He has a magnetic personality that helps him to make new friends (and colleagues?) wherever he goes. In this book, he’s joined by two new characters who assist him in figuring out where our missing girl is, and who did the kidnapping.
Something I particularly loved about this book was that it was a mystery to me all the way through. There are just enough clues to help you feel like you’re apart of the detective work, but it’s all still coded enough where you don’t solve the mystery right away. Like I said before, the mystery is enjoyable for both adults and kids and this expertly plotted kidnapping is part of the reason why.
As well, I was happy that this mystery was fun and somewhat light, even considering the subject of kidnapping. Many mysteries I read are dark and dreary, which I can appreciate sometimes, but I don’t always want to have a dampened mood. Even when reading about darker, more serious themes. I appreciated the adventure this mystery brought to accompany its sleuthing.
I read this second one before I read the first, but I didn’t feel like I was lost or missing pieces. I’m sure my experience could have been that enriched by reading the books in order, but you’ll definitely be okay reading out of order if you need/want to.
Overall, I was so pleased by this book! I love a good mystery and this one was fun and immersive (and not too dark, which I really appreciate).
About the Authors
M. G. Leonard is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Beetle Boy books. She works as a freelance digital media producer for clients such as the National Theatre and Harry Potter West End. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two sons, all of whom are crazy about trains. She is the co-author of the Adventures on Trains series.
Sam Sedgman is a novelist, playwright, and award-winning digital producer. He works as a digital project manager for the National Theatre, where he also hosts and co-produces their podcast. He grew up with a railway line at the bottom of his garden and has been fascinated by trains ever since. He is the co-author of the Adventures on Trains series.