The Pharaoh of Asco Express
Jake R. Wilson
New Frontier, 2022
138pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99
Whatever happens, no matter what, DO NOT step into Asco Express because you might just end up leaving with more than you bargained for…
When eleven-year-old Wesley stops by at a mysterious local shop to buy a drink, he does not realise the trouble he is getting himself into. CURSED by the fiendish Pharaoh AKAHTEN IX, Wesley and his friends, Marishana and Aiden, must solve the evil spell quickly or be trapped for all ETERNITY!
This is a new series for younger readers that not only introduces them to past times but also the mystery genre Using modern children and time travel is a familiar hook to capture a new audience, and this story has the added bonus of a mystery set in Ancient Egypt, a time and place that fascinates many. It includes a glossary of some of the people and objects encountered in the story so the reader can quickly check for anything they’re not sure of. With the ending setting the scene for the next adventure, this is a series that will appeal to those younger, independent readers who are looking for something different.
As well as the story itself offering an opportunity to travel an historical path to explore life in Ancient Egypt, teacher’s notes promote an exploration of the mystery genre generally, with explanations of the key elements of a strong hook, a crime, an investigator, a villain, clues, a twist and a conclusion which, in itself, invites readers to add other mysteries they have read to a list which could broaden others’ reading horizons.