Intrigue in Istanbul

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A great idea for children and young adults, this story teaches the reader while telling a tale, giving word definitions and describing the historical sights used as settings. It's about a young girl who accompanies her grandmother on a trip to Istanbul, but it turns out not to be just a holiday. 
While it had a good plot, there were too many errors, in particular the use of wrong words (eg crumbled instead of crumpled). The Turkish was also inconsistent, with Turkish characters used in direct speech but not in names etc, and the pronunciation given in phonetic form was also inconsistent. This should have been corrected in editing. If the book was correctly edited then I'd give it five stars!
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.
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Intrigue in Istanbul, An Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure by Christine Keleny , set in 1961, a time of the cold war and space race, is packed with information in a way that will engage children, parents and teachers alike.
I loved everything about this book: its plot, the vivid characterization, the information (of course… I’m a parent and a teacher!).
Thank you so much BooksGoSocial for this absolute gem!
#IntrigueInIstanbul #NetGalleyFrance
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This is the first of what is to be a trilogy known as the Agnes Kelly Mystery Series.  The novels are more akin to the Nancy Drew Mystery Series, but it's set in the 1960's during the Cold War.

Agnes' father unexpectedly dies on a business trip to Istanbul.  Unaware of the circumstances of her father's death, she accidentally overhears her Uncle Bob with her Grandmother Agee talking about her father's death and Grandmother Agee quickly silences Uncle Bob.  As a distraction, Grandmother Agee abruptly asks Agnes if she wants to go with her on a trip to Istanbul, which Agnes is thrilled about.  So, the adventure begins.

They arrive in Istanbul, with Agnes believing her dad worked for the US government selling insurance.  Agnes' eyes are opened to a foreign place in the world, where one only dreams about.  She enjoys and is curious about her visits to the Blue Mosque and the Hagi Sophia.  The colors of the tiles and their structures amaze Agnes, as well as learning for the first time that Muslims pray on their knees on rugs, not in pews, which are absent from the mosque.  The street sounds and the many people crowded throughout the city are magic to her sight and ears, especially the spice market.  

Agnes has an active and vivid imagination, like most early teens possess and she is instantly curious about things, which she is made aware of for the first time.  She has a fertile imagination and an ever expansive awareness, which at times can be humorous for us adults, but perfectly normal for someone of Agnes' age.

Agnes slowly becomes aware that Grandma Agee is subtly inquiring about her dad and his death, and Agnes is curious to know more.  Agnes befriends a young boy Yusuf who is similar in age and they team up to investigate and follow Grandma Agee.  They embark on their journey and they soon discover things about her dad, which make Agnes even more curious.  Her dad's working for the US government selling insurance is becoming increasingly doubtful, as their journey deepens.  It is soon revealed to Agnes that her dad did work for the US government, not as a salesmen, but as a spy for the CIA.  And to further add to her mysterious father's activities, it is soon disclosed that he did not die in Istanbul, but in Norway.  The end of the book concludes with Grandmother Agee telling Agnes we're off to Norway, so the mystery continues for another day.

This book is an easy read and quite humorous at times.  Adults will enjoy this series, even though it's more suitable for teens.  It's a nice introduction for teens wanting to know what lies outside of the US and their curious minds will not be disappointed, as they can only imagine what is in store for them in the next book of the series.
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I think this book can be appreciated at all ages.
It well written, engrossing and entertaining.
I loved the plot, the cast of characters and the setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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If Lemony Snicket met Harriet the Spy, and threw in a healthy dose of international travel, it would be almost as good as Intrigue in Istanbul! Agnes’ story starts with something sad, but we quickly move onto an adventure with plenty of fun and a touch of danger. Throughout the novel, Agnes does a great job of explaining large or unfamiliar words for the reader as well as idioms she has encountered. One great thing about Agnes is that if she doesn’t know something, she looks it up!

This novel would be a great read for upper elementary or middle school students (although this grown up enjoyed it very much) because it is a fun and quick story that will teach you something along the way. This novel would be wonderful for a read aloud for parents, homeschooling families, or classrooms. It would be easy to create a whole lesson on idioms using the novel itself as well as Agnes’ letter at the end which covers even more idioms. There could also be tie in lessons on history, geography, and culture.

I will definitely be reading the next two novels to see if Agnes solves her mystery!

Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a very interesting book. I found the main character to be intelligent and engaging.  As it targeted towards middle schoolers, the definitions were a good addition.  I felt like I could still enjoy the story even as an adult because it wasn't dumbed down.  I thought is was exciting for someone like Agnes to get to go on an adventure during the 60's to a place like Istanbul.  She is there with her grandmother and figures out that her grandmother is trying to find out how Agnes' father really died.  My main complaint about the book is that it wasn't complete in itself and I will have to read the second book to find out what is the conclusion.
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It's a very nice book for young readers. Waht I really liked was the perspective, Agnes is very vividly pictured and you can identify with her. It is very good that more complicated words are explains and this happens so naturally that it fits Agnes's character and the story itself. At the same time the story is interestening through her genre (mystery, detective story), so it can appeal to young readers.
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Agnes Kelly's father has just died.  He worked for the US Government, selling insurance.  When Agnes's grandmother invites on a trip to Istanbul, Agnes discovers that there was more to her dad's life than insurance.  Yes he worked for the government, but he wasn't selling insurance.  Luckily she's a very enterprising 12 year old.

A book to make you laugh out loud.
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Great start to a new series. It's perfect for fans of Nancy Drew and Robin Stevens. Agnes is an endearing character and I look forward to seeing her relationship with her grandmother grow as they continue their adventures. The author did a wonderful job describing Istanbul . My only criticism is that it was too short, more of a novella, it left me wanting more. If all of the stories are shorter, I hope that all of Agnes' adventures will bound into one book for publication.
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Agnes Kelly takes a trip to Turkey with her Grandma Agee. While there, Agnes’ father has recently died, and she finds that it may not have been an accident. Her determination to discover the truth starts her on an adventure that she never expected.

This is such a great book and the start of a fabulous adventure series that any kid would love. Filled with facts, definitions, and idioms that are presented in such a way that they are perfectly natural…a part of the conversation. The places Agnes visits, and the experiences she has, are so vividly described you can visualize them and want to know more about them…just like Agnes. 

Agnes is such a great character…intelligent, inquisitive, intrepid, caring, thoughtful, funny…I could go on and on. She is more grown-up than the adults around her give her credit for, as are most kids her age. She loves books, languages, and places, and likes to figure out how to learn more. But she is not perfect. She gets into scrapes, and she sometimes acts without thinking. Basically she is the model of a 12-year-old girl.

I think a lot of girls will be able to see themselves in Agnes, I know I did! This is the beginning of an adventure series that is perfect for middle-schoolers…and adults like me too. I look forward to reading more Agnes Kelly Adventures!

My thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the advance reader copy made available for my review.
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