One afternoon while sketching birds in the forest, Josh happens across a nest of young falcons. He, Dink, and Ruth Rose begin visiting the nest every day, until the morning they find the nest empty. Alarmed, the kids investigate and discover that other local nests have also been abandoned! When the kids find a wounded adult falcon with its wing feathers trimmed, they know somebody’s up to no good. Can they uncover who’s stealing the falcons before it’s too late?
The Falcon’s Feathers is the sixth book of the A to Z Mysteries series, and it’s here that Josh finally gets a chance to shine as something other than comic relief. Apparently, while Dink’s hobby is reading and Ruth Rose’s is… yelling loudly…?, Josh is an animal expert in training. In The Falcon’s Feathers, his pet project–if you’ll pardon the pun–is bird-watching a family of endangered falcons that have taken up residence in Green Lawn… and then go mysteriously missing right before he tries to show them to his two friends. So begins our mystery.
Honestly, it’s great to see a children’s book flesh out its supporting cast like this; while many authors would stamp “Comic Relief” on the second boy of their main trio and be done with it, Roy lets Josh prove himself as an independent character with hobbies other than pranking people, making jokes, and annoying their female friend. The Falcon’s Feathers is genuinely his story, letting him take the role of The Hero from Dink, if only for a single book.
Frankly, I’m hoping the next one can do the same for Ruth Rose. I’d quite like to see what else there is to her character beyond “competent, clever female friend”.
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