'The Mystery of the Missing Artefact' follows the adventures of young teenager, Josephine Mary Cresswell, during the1950s in New Zealand.
While researching her family history, Josephine discovers her connections to local Maori and to a famous warrior, Tama Te Kapua, whose bones lie buried at the summit of the sacred Moehau Mountain. Strange things begin to happen when Josephine seeks to unravel the mystery of the missing artefact and uncovers an ancient curse which has haunted her family for many years. With the help of her friends Tommy, Tamati and Egypt, Josephine unravels a trail of clues leading to a sunken vessel off Cuvier Island.
A riveting mystery story with plenty of twists and turns, 'The Mystery of the Missing Artefact' will appeal to readers 10-15 years and to adults who enjoy the nostalgia of a by-gone era.
This book is the second in the trilogy The Adventures of Josephine Mary Cresswell, the first being Danger at Devil's Cove which won a Gold Medal Award at the New Zealand Pride in Print awards 2010, also set post World War Two, on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.
Whilst 'The Mystery of the Missing Artefact' is a fictional story, it contains references to actual events and places. A summary of historical and natural information and a glossary of Maori words may be found at the back of the book.
The Mystery of The Missing Artefact
Publisher: Arthur Publishing House
Publication Date: 30 Jun 2012
Accompanying teaching notes are available on request.
Book Review by Patricia Meder:
Solving mysteries of the most mysterious kind is what Josephine Mary Cresswell does best. Marilyn Bakker has, in my opinion written a sequel to the first in this series which takes your breath away, draws you in with its mystical power, and compels you to turn page after breathless page until you reach the end, and then only to want more. Phew - at least the third in the series is being released soon.
The Mystery of the Missing Artefact sees Josephine investigating the history of her ancestors, and as she does so uncovering a mystery which has caused conflict within the community and between two Maori elders for decades. Josephine with her friends, helps to uncover the truth behind the missing artefact and the curse which followed her family because of its disappearance. Along with some magical help from her friend Mr Truffles, Josephine is able to deepen her understanding of Maori culture and taonga. And along the way Josephine is given a most precious gift, a loving family.
To the very last line, as the magical cloth sails in the wind, this book captured my imagination, gave me a sense of belonging to land that is Aotearoa and a deep respect for its culture and traditions. The Mystery of the Missing Artefact will stay with you long after you finish reading the last word.
Patricia Meder, Associate Principal & Avid Reader of Children's Books, Campbells Bay School