A Pocketful of Eyes- Lili Wilkinson

“She had carried a detective kit everywhere she went, containing a magnifiying glass, a pair of rubber gloves, a notebook, a sharpened pencil, a battered Miss Marple novel and a lipstick, because, as Nancy Drew had taught her, lipstick wasn’t just for glamour….”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
This book was fun fun fun but now I have the overwhelming urge to go to the Manchester Museum.

High Points.
Museums. Taxidermy. Mystery. Murder. Stuffed tigers. Glass eyes. Fun facts. Wheelie chairs. RPG mums. Detective worship. Ms Wilkinson’s sense of humour. Frozen koalas. Glass cabinets. Conspiracy. Science. Nobel Prizes. Girls who are happy to be intelligent and don’t dumb themselves down for a boy. Cut boys in glasses. Cute boys in glasses eating doughnuts. Corruption. Beetroot. Porcupine urine. Sheep vaginas….yeah, those last two probably need more explanation.

Low Points.
I am a huuuuuge detective fiction fan. If it is to do with detectives… there is a safe chance that I will watch/read/live it and love it unconditionally. There has only been one occasion where that is not true (Sherlock… there’s something about Benedick Cumberbatch that doesn’t sit with me…he looks like I imagine Mister Mistoffelees would look like without the make-up. *cough* Yeaaaah…).
I took a module called ‘Detective Fiction’ at uni and got my highest mark in it, writing a bitchin’ essay on Sir Holmes, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. I have had my picture taken next to 221B Baker Street and posed like a complete fangirl and bought a leather bookmark with a mandolin on it and tried on a deerstalker, and then politely placed it back on the shelf when it was like A MILLION POUNDS.
I worship at the altar of Detective Jack Frost, Inspector Morse, Miss Marple and Gil Grissom.
I also do a mean impression of Taggart’s famous line. Although, there’s a lot of spittle involved when I try and roll my ‘r’s.
But anyway, back to this book. I am the first person to admit that sometimes fictional mysteries are a bit ridiculous and implausible (practically every episode of CSI, but I still adore it). But the mystery in this book was completely ridiculous and a bit silly and really implausible.
BUT… I didn’t guess it, which I think counts for a lot. And I still really loved this book… but it did bother me quite a bit.
Also, I could have done without the whole best friend/ ex- boyfriend shenanigans.
And, what the eff is a spearmint milkshake? Nearly lost my lunch when I read that.

Heroine.
Bee. You are a girl after my own heart. You are the Australian Veronica Mars. You work in a museum. You like mysteries. You ask yourself ‘What Would Poirot Do?’ when you’re in a jam. You see yourself as Nancy Drew. You like science. You read detective novels. You reminded me of a young Temperence Brennan (in the TV serious, Book Brennan is a bit more intense) in the earlier series when you were actually cool and not completely oblivious to everything in the entire world. You are inquisitive.
But you don’t like theme parks? Or popcorn? What is wrong with you?
And you also are extremely indecisive and flaky when it comes to boys. Just kiss the cute boy dammit. No need to ask questions.
I think if she had met Toby, Agatha would have approved. And Poirot would have given you a high five.

Love Interest.
Oh Toby. I couldn’t read your name without thinking of Olivia Flaversham and her ridiculous Scottish accent in Basil the Great Mouse Detective (coincidence? I think not!). But that’s fine, because I love that film regardless of the fact that Rattigan used to scare the pants off me.
ANYWAY.
OK, I completely fell in love with you from the first time you were on the page. And it wasn’t just because of the doughnuts. Well, OK, maybe a little bit because of the doughnuts.
You are sweet, cute, sound HOT, clever and you are adventurous.
And I’ve always had a thing about scientists…
But… please lose the hipster glasses. They upset me greatly. Unless they are prescription because that’s fine.
Our babies would just be blind as a blind bat.

Theme Tune.
Seeing as it’s Australia Week, I have given myself a quest to pick Theme Tunes from Australian bands/artists.
So…

No brainer.

Also. Because I cannot believe I forgot to mention this next band in my Favourite Things About Australia list ……I have set myself another challenge.

Strictly Savage Garden Story Song
Yeah, I might work on that alliteration.
THAT’S RIGHT. They were my favourite band when I was younger. Me and Darren…. We’ve been through a lot. (Also used to fancy the leather pants off him.)
For every book I read I have to reluctantly trawl through my Savage Garden albums and come up with a song.
Such a chore.
*fist pump*
Some of them will be a little… uh.. abstract.

Because about 75% of my knowledge of animal mating habits (and animal sexual organs) have come from this book.

Boy Angst.
6/10. There was a lot of backward-and-forwarding with Bee and Toby and it got a bit ridiculous. If a boy wants to make out with you in exciting and completely bizarre places.
Just go with it.
Also… this Fletch chap? WHAT. Boring. Move on to said adventurous kisser.

Sadness Scale.
1/10. Nada. Well.. I tell a lie. There was a bit of a pulling of heartstrings when the big reveal was… um revealed. But other than that… nada. This book was heaps of fun and if you are looking for a nice, quick read… definitely pick this one up.

Recommended For.
People who have been craving a fun YA detective book. People who like it when their heroine is clever and doesn’t pretend not to be when a cute boy is in the vicinity. People who have always wondered how they make the stuffed animals in museums. People who find tigers oddly arousing. People who always manage to get half of their sandwich down them when they are eating. People who like to learn about the mating habits of molluscs. People who live in the sixteen states in America where necrophilia is a considered a crime… the rest, is it just frowned upon/strongly advised against?! People who are bored with having ‘kissing in the rain’ as the epitome of hot, sexy kissing. Boys who kiss in the rain… you have officially been usurped.

This review is part of

You can find out more here.

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3 thoughts on “A Pocketful of Eyes- Lili Wilkinson

  1. Jo! Basil the Great Mouse Detective was my favourite film growing up. My dad actually used to tell me stories about Basil solving all these cases for fairies in gardens and stuff when I was little.

    Anyway, great review! I didn’t particularly like Love-Shy so I’ve been hesitant to read another of Wilkinson’s books, but I think I should give this a go purely based on the fact I love detective stories ;)

  2. Pingback: Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2013 – Annette’s Wrap-Up | Looking on the side of wonder

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