Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Barnes, No Rules

I have to commend any author that is able to make me laugh out loud when I'm reading a book, and R.A. Spratt is one of those authors.  Four books into the Friday Barnes series, and I can honestly say that each book gets better than the last.  While I prefer to read about teenage detectives, I am learning to accept the current trend for pre-teen detectives in children's mysteries - and 12-year old Friday Barnes is a Sheldon-esque sleuth with a knack for not only solving mysteries, but also for driving people crazy! (And if you don't know what I mean by Sheldon-esque - go watch an episode of Big Bang Theory...)

No Rules picks up exactly where the previous book left off (and that's one more thing I love about this series - the books always leave off with a cliffhanger, and the next book starts right off at that same exact moment - with a recap to boot!), with Friday suddenly finding herself being deported, as she find out she is not a legal citizen of the United States!  It seems Friday was born in Switzerland, and her parents never bothered to complete the proper forms to ensure Friday had her U.S. citizenship - so it's off to Switzerland with her.

In usual Friday Barnes fashion, Spratt soon has Friday solving a mystery for the Swiss government, thus earning her a passport that allows her to return home - and none too soon, it would seem.  Highcrest Academy has lost all of its teachers (it seems someone fired them all!), and the students are making the most of their newfound free time.  But Friday quickly uncovers the culprit - her very own nemesis/boyfriend, Ian Wainscott!  Ian is expelled, but Friday does not have time to even consider the consequences of that, since the school suddenly has a new Vice-Principal - one who is laidback and determined to change Highcrest into a whole new learning experience for its students.

Spratt fills the book with the overall mystery of who really fired all the teachers and why, but along the way, Friday has to solve "The Case of the Missing Math Textbooks," "The Case of the Wet Boy," "The Case of the Missing Furniture," and "The Case of the Colored Eyes," as well as figure out how the beef stroganoff was poisoned, who changed the signs during the cross-country race, and just who is the Vice-Principal really?  And, of course, there's always the ongoing question of when will Friday and Ian stop acting like enemies and finally just admit they like each other?!

Oh, and this book has one scene that literally made me cry out, "Yes, at last, someone recognizes it!" On page 111, Friday receives a telephone call from her uncle, and it goes like this:

When Friday picked up the phone in the school office, she recognized the heavy breathing on the other end.  "Uncle Bernie?"
"Friday, thank goodness! You've got to come at once," said Uncle Bernie.
"Are you in the bathroom?" asked Friday.
"What?" asked Uncle Bernie.
"Your voice sound echoey, as if you're talking to me on your phone from inside a bathroom," said Friday.
"So?" asked Uncle Bernie.
"I refuse to talk to you," said Friday.  "It's unhygienic."

FINALLY!  Someone else in the world recognizes that it is absolutely disgusting for someone to be talking on the phone while they are in the bathroom!  Of course, it turns out Uncle Bernie was only hiding in the bathroom so he could talk without being overheard, but that's beside the point.  It gave validation to my annoyance any time someone calls me while they are using the facilities...

There are plenty of laughs throughout the book, and yes, I did figure out who was behind the firing of the teachers (Spratt was just a bit obvious with the clue dropping in this one), but that didn't stop me from enjoying Friday's antics and the daring rescue that was required to save her from falling off of a cliff near the end.  And have no fear, for this book not only ends with yet another cliffhanger - the author bio at the end states that Spratt is working on the sixth Friday Barnes novel - which means we are getting at least two more in this series!!!  Yay!!!!!  More Friday Barnes is a good thing.

RATING:  10 packs of cookies dipped in strawberry sauce out of 10 for giving readers more fun than they can shake a stick at, with a main character that you can't help but love!

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