Notebook Mysteries ~ Emma (Notebook Mysteries Book 1) by Kimberly Mullins – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Notebook Mysteries ~ EmmaNotebook Mysteries ~ Emma by Kimberly Mullins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Emma is the first book in the Notebook Mysteries Series. The book is set in 1881 Chicago, and centers around the rebuilding of Chicago after the fire of 1871. Sixteen-year-old Emma spends most days working early mornings at her family’s bakery. She has a thirst for adventure and is determined to explore the City of Chicago beyond the usual areas of her home and her family’s bakery. She decides to approach her Papa with the idea of helping the delivery boys who work for her family bakery with their deliveries on the days she does not work at the bakery.

Although Papa is reluctant, he knows that Emma is a strong and determined girl who can take care of herself. This was something he made certain of after Emma was kidnapped and brutally beaten at the tender age of six years old. From that day forward, Emma was determined to never become a victim again and learned to defend herself. With the help of her Papa, who enlisted the help of several experts through the years, Emma learned self-defense skills such as knife throwing. With those skills, Emma felt prepared to venture out into Chicago and learn more about the city she lived in.

With her little black notebook in hand, Emma sets off on a series of adventures while helping with deliveries through various Chicago neighborhoods. What started out as an adventure and a way to explore different areas of Chicago soon turned into a series of mysteries that needed to be solved. With her keen sense of observation and trusty notebook Emma soon realized there was some odd goings-on within some of the neighborhoods. The more she observed and took note of, the farther she delved into the dark side of the criminal underworld. Before long, the mystery came full circle and brought her back to her own family and the death of her mother during the Chicago Fire of 1871.

I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed following Emma on her adventures through Chicago. The character of Emma is well written, and the reader cannot help but admire her strength, courage, determination, and zest for life. Emma is a girl who knows what she wants and does not allow anyone to stand in her way. She has a sense of fashion that is well ahead of her time and is not afraid to flaunt her bold style, regardless of what others might think or say about it. She does not allow anyone’s opinions or judgement to change who she is. These are all qualities you cannot help but admire in young Emma. I absolutely loved the author’s writing style in this book. It was unique and interesting to have Dear One pop into the story every so often as the Narrator told Emma’s story. It was a style of writing that added interest to the story and was unlike anything that I have ever read. Bravo to the author for thinking outside the box and adding this unique writing style to the story!

View all my reviews@tarab

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