25 September 2023

Friday Barnes 4: No Rules

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By R.A. Spratt, Random House, $15.99.

When it comes to rules and regulations most of us are bound by them and it’s especially important when it comes to children. Can clues be wrong? R.A. (Rachel) Spratt has a knack to showcase Friday’s ‘wonderfully dry wit and exceptional powers of deduction’.

What’s going to happen now that Friday Barnes has been deported to Switzerland? With their in-school detective gone, Highcrest Academy has descended into chaos. Someone’s fired all the teachers! According to the headmaster, he had nothing to do with it. So, suspicion turns to Ian Wainscott.

Friday, however, is not going to stand by and let her favourite nemesis take the blame. He could well be innocent. Besides, he’s ‘seriously good looking’. Questions also surround the dubious teaching methods, but does it have anything to do with the fact that you can’t take anyone seriously if they wear tie-dyed T-shirts.

It’s all up to Friday now; can she find the prankster responsible and save Ian’s scholarship? In the meantime, let’s hope the school will not suffer. Can she run the cross-country? She’s certainly going to try . . . or at least the first two.

Their antics grow on you. No wonder the series is described as:

Increasing “…so rapidly in its readership as the favourite characters prove again and again how entertaining they are. Not least is Friday’s endearing personality which fluctuates between her sheer genius intelligence to bewildered gauche geek with the regularity of a pendulum.”

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