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The Amelia Six: 07/08/20
The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray is a middle grade locked room, well, locked building, mystery set in the real world Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.
Amelia "Millie" Archer, named by her pilot mother for Earhart, is one of six girls invited by the caretaker and the Ninety-Nines, to spend a night. They are to participate in a themed scavenger hunt before Earhart's famed goggles move onto the Smithsonian. During the hunt, Millie notices that the goggles have gone missing.
As there is a blizzard outside, outside help isn't an option. Escape isn't an option. The thief is one of them. There are six girls and four adults. Can the girls solve the mystery and stay safe?
Millie as the narrator has a unique and engaging voice. All of the girls, including the set of twins, have distinct personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Every girl is able to contribute to the task at hand — finding the goggles and discovering the thief.
In terms of set up, The Amelia Six reminds me of And Then There Were None except that no one dies. The mystery thankfully doesn't delve into solving Earhart's disappearance, thus keeping the mystery believable and manageable for something to unfold over the course of a night.
This mystery also sits on the road narrative spectrum. The girls as the collective protagonist, are marginalized travelers (66). Their destination is the wildlands. Yes, the house sits in a Kansas city, but the isolation caused by the blizzard changes the landscape to wildlands (99). Their route is the maze (CC). The author took some liberties and included a secret passage way. Mostly, though, the maze is derived from the danger of the unknown, the unpredictable power, and the lack of telephone/cell service. Thus, The Amelia Six is about marginalized travelers going through the wildlands via the maze (6699CC).
One parting thought, I loved the dynamics of the six girls. I loved how they worked together, how they squabbled, and how they complemented each other's skillset. The book ends with a coda where the six have reunited in Houston. I would love to see them solve another mystery. I realize it would have to be fairly contrived to get them together in that situation again, but it would be a fun read.