Review of Kyle and Corey and the Game-Store Mystery by Joe Stephens
Kyle & Corey Holley (15 and 12) live in Fairly Springs, a small southern beach town. Kyle is a budding engineer; Corey is impetuous, funny and sports-crazy. Like most brothers, they fight often, but they also solve crimes—like the rash of recent robberies around town. When Kyle and Corey investigate, they learn that in each robbery, the thieves stole a high-end desktop computer. Why? What are they looking for? And how soon till they find it? Other complications include Corey’s wheelchair-bound math tutor, Kyle’s after-school job in a local game store and a revolutionary new video game launching soon.
Kyle and Corey: Brothers. Best Friends. Detectives. They don’t go looking for trouble; it has them on speed dial!
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That night at dinner, sitting at their comfortable round oak dining table at home, Mrs. Holley said to Corey, “She thinks you’re a pathological liar.”
“He is a pathological liar,” Kyle said, helping himself to more mashed potatoes and pouring a generous helping of brown gravy over them. Corey, sitting across the table from him, glared over his plate of sliced roast beef, steamed broccoli, and a smaller helping of mashed potatoes. “Liar is a strong word. I know the difference between truth and a lie, you turd.”
“Corey!” his mother said in warning.
“Well, I do. I only lied at the end a little, when I said the whole thing was a lie.”
“I know,” Mrs. Holley said. “Ms. Morrison hasn’t lived here long enough to know what happened this summer.”
“That’s why I did it. If she’d thought it was really true, she’d have asked all kinds of questions and probably made me write a whole other paper. She’s that type.”
Mrs. Holley looked affectionately at her younger son. Corey had a knack for picking out the essential personality traits in everyone he met, almost instantly. He knew things about people after a ten-minute conversation that took therapists months to root out.
Her husband Donald was proud of Kyle for his math and science abilities, his kind and forgiving nature, his loyalty to friends and his gift for taking raw materials and turning them into something new and unexpected. He was proud of Corey for his people smarts, his vivid personality, and his natural ability as an athlete. “I wouldn’t trade either of ‘em for a million bucks,” he told his wife often, and she always answered, “Wait till someone makes you an offer.”
Buy Kyle and Corey and the Game-Store Mystery:
This was a wonderful “blast to the past,” if you will, even though it’s not historical at all. It’s been years since my hardcore gamer days, and this book really put me back in that mindset (minus all the frustration when I couldn’t complete a level I’d done with no problem last time). The video game angle gave this mystery a fun spin, and I enjoyed watching everything unfold.
The characters were pretty great, too. Kyle and Corey’s relationship felt very genuine. I figured out the mystery a bit before the boys did, but that didn’t stop me from admiring their powers of deduction or their very different personalities. Oh, and solving the mystery a bit before them (literally, it was a few pages) in no way means this was poorly plotted. It kept me guessing, and there were lots of possibilities to consider.
I would have loved some more gameplay time, but that didn’t detract either from the story or my enjoyment. I recommend this to fans of YA mystery or 90’s kid mystery books (maybe even 80’s mystery books). I’d definitely pick up more from this author.
About Joe Stephens
JOE STEPHENS has been a fan of boys’ adventure books all his life, and in this, his first series book, he’s created two boys as memorable as Frank and Joe Hardy. He has a background in education and has also visited more than thirty countries while pursuing his passion for scuba diving. He lives in Georgetown with his growing family and three thoroughly spoiled cats.
Joe Stephens will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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