Silent Lee: And the Adventure of the Side Door Key

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See our interview with author Alex Hiam here!

When Silent Lee’s beloved Aunt Gen ‘allegedly’ dies, and her errant mother takes her to live with obnoxious cousins, Silent (a.k.a. Sie) decides to defy her name and speak up. Alex Hiam’s droll mystery novel explores the double meaning of the side-door key. Carefully hidden, the key opens the door to Aunt Gen’s townhouse and wondrously unlocks the setting of Boston a century ago. Even more weirdly, the transformation triggers a nefarious plot to kidnap Aunt Gen who is very much alive – and angry!

Readers are held in lasting suspense, never sure exactly what the threatening CIA officers are after. Once the acronym is revealed as the Central Investigation of Alchemy their role is obvious: stop the power of alchemy pervading the modern world! Sie, a magician in training leaps to the challenge, necessarily performing magical ruses to escape their clutches and rescue her aunt. At first reluctant to accept help, she joins forces with the precocious Raahi who becomes her helper and her soulmate.

The slim book introduces a series where many of the Side Door characters will reappear: genial (if mystified) old Mr. Vole and his gallery, Sie’s mother who is questionably a wildlife researcher or a spy and, naturally, Raahi and Aunt Gen herself. The confusing tributaries escaping from the main plot along with Arnold’s outrageous inventiveness and sense of humor are a splendid precursor to an extraordinary genre of teenage fiction.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 136 pages
Publisher Webster Press, LLC
Publish Date 2019-04-30
ISBN 9781635580112 Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Young Adult


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