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SIMON BRETT
The Three Detectives and the Missing Superstar


click to enlarge

Hippo, London, 1986
(price: 1.50; 184 pages)


dedication: For SOPHIE, who demanded it


The blurb on the back:

When Dazzleman, lead singer of the chart topping group Reddimixx, disappears, only Emma Cobbett and her friends think there may be more to it than a publicity stunt. But can the Three Detectives prove that Dazzleman has been kidnapped?
And for what?


Simon Brett is a talented man. He was a radio producer originally - worked on Week Ending amongst others - before deciding that his sideline as a writer was worth pursuing full-time. Best known are his radio/TV sitcom After Henry in the 1980s, and his Charles Paris Mysteries and Mrs Pargeter Mysteries novel series, both of which are still going strong.

This oddity slots into the middle of his oeuvre, and is a kids' detective story. Since he knows how to do mysteries, that side of the book works okay, and the kids who are the central protagonists are convincing enough. Even more impressive, the depiction of the pop world isn't bad either: the opening sentence is 'Emma Cobbett was bored', which is a welcome break from the usual portrayal of glamour and/or depravity.

It's not aimed at me, and pop has moved so far since the late-1980s (I'm not sure in which direction) that it may not be appropriate for kids anymore, but a nice little curio.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
1/5


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