When the Claymore Diamond is stolen from Ravensburg’s finest jewelry store, Stanley Carusoe gets the bright idea that he and his friends should start a detective agency.
Armed with curiosity and their love for math, Stanley, Charlotte, Gertie, and Felix race around town in an attempt to solve the mystery. Along the way, they butt heads with an ambitious police chief, uncover dark secrets, and drink lots of milkshakes at Mabel’s Diner. But when their backs are against the wall, Stanley and his friends rely on the one thing they know best: numbers. Because numbers, they never lie.
Join Stanley and his friends in this smart and funny first mystery in The Math Inspector series, perfect for kids ages 9-12.
The Case of the Claymore Diamond (Math Inspectors) Review
The Case of the Claymore Diamond, the first book in the series The Math Inspectors, is a good introduction to mystery novels for kids. Four bright kids, all of them math lovers, join forces to fight crime. It’s either that or go after the jerky kids in their classes that think math sucks. Self-aware enough to compare themselves to the Scooby gang more than once, these kids are determined to solve the case. They use their observational skills, intelligence, and look for the numbers to help guide them. Because numbers never lie. Aimed at ages 9-12, they’re unrealistic for older readers so definitely not books that have a timeless appeal. However, for this age group, it’s a solid introduction to math’s practical applications.
My initial opinion of The Case of the Claymore Diamond was very high, but after thinking about it for a while, I had to revise my thoughts a bit. I wasn’t a fan of the ‘throw them in the deep end’ method of introducing the characters. And though I appreciated the fact that the authors were trying to make smart kids cool, they kind of undid some of their good work by giving one of the characters a photographic memory. I think it would have worked a lot better if the kids had all been ‘normal’ smart kids. Still, I’m sure most readers will find one of the characters in the Math Inspectors that they can identify with in some way.
I also didn’t care for the fact that the very first book revolved around gambling. The story makes it clear that gambling is bad, but I was sort of taken aback by the section where betting odds are explained. Nothing particularly horrible about it, I just can’t see teaching nine-year-olds that ‘this is how you can make money’. Again, my issue is more with it being the very first book. If it had happened a couple of books later in the series, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Just put things off to an interesting start.
Overall, The Case of the Claymore Diamond didn’t wow me, but I wouldn’t abstain from recommending it either. It does a fairly good job at what it sets out to do. And if it gives the brainier younger readers a chance to feel good about themselves? Totally worth it.