Book Review : “Mystery at Deadman’s Ridge”
By Mandy Edwards
Reviewed by Anne Cook, Class teacher, Cromwell Primary School
Nothing much happens in the country, right? Wrong! City girl, Maggie finds that out quickly when she comes to stay with her farming cousins in the backblocks of rural Otago. Sheep rustling, the discovery of a marijuana plot, gun shots in the night , the injuring of a shepherd, a marauding hawk…..are some of the challenges that the young characters have to deal with.
“Mystery at Deadman’s Ridge” is a fast paced read that is action packed; full of twists & turns and is hard to put down. It’s a real mystery story with characters that are real. I’ve met them all in my time on the land.
Mandy Edwards draws on her vast experience of life in Rural New Zealand. Farming in Otago is portrayed accurately with subtle explanations woven in. One can easily relate to the hectic pace at shearing time, the busy woolshed and yards, and the capable, hard working farming family eeking out a living on the land.
The young farm boys, Tom and Luke, are highly capable as farm kids are: whether it’s working dogs, mustering stock, helping in the woolshed or riding a quad bike. There is a natural ease and confidence. By the same token, Maggie, although out of her comfort zone in the country is savvy with a cell phone. It is the kids, not the adults, who solve the mystery and bring the villains to justice.
All young people, whether from a rural or urban background will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.