Kensy and Max: Time's up by Jacqueline Harvey

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The tenth book in the Kensy and Max series is full of danger, excitement and complicated detective work. For Kensy, Max and trusted young agents Autumn and Curtis, there is a race against time to find all of their missing family. Within the highly organised inner circle of Pharos, there is a traitor who will stop at nothing to take away power from matriarch Cordelia and the rest of the Spencer family.

When all of the trusted adults in the family are kidnapped in quite devious ways, it is up to the young children left behind to outwit one of their own.  When mysterious scarab beetles start appearing and testing the loyalties of once-trusted agents, rumours abound over a possible coup. Who could be behind this shocking development? Kensy and Max use all of their growing understanding of how Pharos operates, their knowledge of the complex technical side and their expertise in problem-solving to find their family members before it is too late. There are plenty of clues, both real and diversionary, to keep them engaged in their quest and without Curtis and Autumn to back them up with advice and quick thinking, there may not have been such a quick resolution. 

This book has all the complexities of the others in the series including a vast range of characters thoughtfully explained in the beginning, along with maps of Millbank and Alexandria plus the appreciation of how big the Pharos operation is and the codes used. Fans of Kensy and Max will enjoy this latest and perhaps last book and realise how far the twins have grown in their skills and their ability to handle any danger.

Themes: Missing Family, Kidnappings, Problem Solving, Danger, Friendship, Spies.

Kathryn Beilby