Yogi, Foodie, Editor and Writer. I blog/edit at thescientificyogi.wordpress.com
Published March 22nd 2013
Read a thin book for a thin plot?
Triple Nine Sleuths - Book Cover
A terrible stench brought Cordelia aka Corey, her brother Colton and best friend Stacy to a dead body in a neighbour's flat. Smelling foul play, these teenagers play detective and before long a pattern emerges - with Corey possibly being the next murder victim.
This is the first of nine books by Singaporean writer Maranna Chen.
For a book targeted at upper primary and lower secondary school students, I had found Maranna's writing to be extremely descriptive. The details that she went into for each character was extremely structured.
"Corey!" Stacy Rodgriguez, a tanned Eurasian girl with long wavy hair, wearing a white and blue school uniform, called out to her friend. She waved frantically from the school gate to Corey, a short, mousy-looking Chinese girl with thick black-rimmed goggle-like glasses and braces."
The plot was indeed unfortunate and thin like the book. A series of deaths linked by the name Cordelia? In all honesty, the book has to toe a difficult line between mystery fiction writing and the harsh reality of the life of a Singaporean student. The switching between these fields is cognitively challenging.
The relationship between the siblings and friends of opposite gender for that age group appears to be never better - this book is most definitely a fictional work. It belongs to another universe.
And there was a lost-but-found again dog subplot in the story. It was probably written in to bump up the likeability factor or the number of pages for this thinly-guised story.
Kudos to Epigram Books for their brave foray with Maranna.