Dan Metcalf, The Catacombs of Chaos: a Lottie Lipton adventure, Allen & Unwin, Sept 2016, 80pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781472927552
The latest in a series of early chapter books, The Catacombs of Chaos is an appealing mystery about a young girl who lives with her great uncle in the British Museum in the 1920s. Lottie is apparently a magnet for peculiar happenings, and has a talent for solving mysteries. On this occasion she overhears the Head Curator (a man not usually sympathetic to Lottie or Uncle Bert) and quickly ascertains that they need a large donation today to ensure all their future prospects. Thus follows a happy coincidence in the form of a mystery clue to the existence of a treasure horde below the Museum. Lottie is in her element and manages to solve several puzzles leading to a happy conclusion. Along the way the reader, hopefully a budding mystery fan, has the chance to solve each one before the answer is revealed, and learn a little history along the way, as does Lottie. A satisfying read.
Reviewed by Marita Thomson