Dragon Detective: That’s a Wrap is aptly named as it wraps up this wonderful series in perfect style: with fast-paced adventure, oodles of humour and a frisson of danger. This can be read as a standalone, and is perfect for younger readers of fun-filled, exciting mysteries.
Holly Bigsby has been grounded for her entire summer holidays so imagine her relief and excitement when her Mum, who works for billionaire Brant Buchanan, is invited on a work-trip to LA – and she gets to go too!
The family have not long arrived in LA before Holly makes a worrying discovery, and one that will require the help of her rather unusual – but utterly brilliant – friend, Dirk Dilly, dragon detective extraordinaire. What disaster must be averted at all costs? Only the possibility that dragonkind could be exposed to humanity! Unfortunately, a pair of Desert Dragons have been captured on film by a famous movie director and, even worse, the film has disappeared … will Holly and Dirk be able to catch the thieves and retrieve the footage before the bickering stars of the film become the talk of Hollywood?
Oh my goodness! The intrigue … the twists … the laughs: I’m still giggling at the visit to the theme park where Dirk isn’t fooling anyone that he’s a dinosaur, and the alien cat conspiracy – genius! I adored all the twists and revelations in this fast-paced, clever mystery as Dirk and Holly use their ingenuity to follow the trail of the stolen film which leads them to a deeper problem and both old and new enemies. Without spoilers, I loved how the threads of a much bigger plot come together; how we as readers are led on a merry chase to discover who the culprits are; and, the Hollywood movie-making vibes sprinkled throughout as a famous director is making a rather disastrous movie with a precocious child-star already known to Holly. These threads are woven together with brilliant imagination, pace and wit which kept me turning pages to see how Dirk and Holly solved the mystery.
I loved the easy and comfortable friendship between Dirk and Holly who are, by now, old hands at the sleuthing business! Dirk really reminds me of a debonair, laid-back detective from an old black-and-white film (drinking his orange and blackcurrant squash neat) and being master of the witty one-liners, so it is just perfect that he ends up in Hollywood. There were some very touching moments between them that were just perfect.
I must admit though that my favourite characters are the absolutely fantastic Desert Dragons, Putz and Kitelsky who are the unwitting stars of the missing film. They are territorial, tetchy and argumentative and, dare I say it, perhaps not the brightest duo around. They leap into situations without thinking but deep, deep down, they have hearts of gold (probably) and I like to think a little burning flame is flaring in Putz which will help him reach his ambition of being able to generate fire as well as poison. The other character who I adored is Mrs Klingerflim, Dirk’s elderly landlady who is somewhat of a dragon expert having helped her husband study, and create a definitive guide, to dragonkind.
This is a fantastically exciting, fun and fast-paced adventure that I can’t wait to share with my class as, I have no doubt, they will love it as much as I have. A perfect wrap-up to a brilliant series.
Thank you to Charlie and Little Tiger for an early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.