Cover Image: Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 5)

Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 5)

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Member Reviews

This series has been on the biggest [and best] surprise reads for me this year. I knew nothing except that it was children's - middle grade and that they are historical mysteries. What I didn't know what that I was about to dive into one of the BEST CMG historical mysteries that I have read in a very long time [I will say that Myrtle reminds me of Flavia, though those are not kids books, and that is one of the highest compliments I can pay Myrtle] and I have just been blown away by the writing, the settings, the mysteries and the characters, and the newest book in the series was no different, with the exception that it really was the best of the series. 

Miss Judson has inherited land in Scotland from someone she doesn't even know [its weird how family works sometimes] and so she and Myrtle [along with Cook and Peony, because there was NO WAY Peony was staying home - SHE is one of the best characters ever] head off to Scotland and a V E R Y remote island and a castle and a mystery that keeps taunting them [and us, the reader] until you are at the edge of your seat and hanging on by fingertips until the reveal and end. And what a glorious end that was. SO satisfying. 

I do have to give props to the narrator Bethan Rose Young - she has truly added to the story and with this one, she had quite the job; and English accent can be tough enough, but add in Scottish [the characters spoke both english Scots and Scottish - there is a lovely explanation at the end of the book that was very illuminating] and a narrator has quite the job and she handles it fantastically. She is amazing and I look forward to listening to her again and again. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Elizabeth C. Bunce, and Algonquin Young Readers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Myrtle and Ms. Judson take their escapades on the road, to the latter's newly inherited Scottish manor!
Ms. Judson becomes the new Laird of a delapidated estate when her heretofore unknown uncle dies. She and Myrtle check it out, meet new friends, and of course, the bodycount rises.
There's the impenetrable Scots dialect, ghosts, an arsonist, hounds and horses to consider while they are stranded on the manor's island.

I can't get enough of Myrtle and Ms. Judson. Book 6 needs to come out soon!

Continuing to recommend for middle school library acquisition
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When her beloved governess inherits a Scottish castle Myrtle acquires two problems to solve - investigate the possible murder of Miss Judson’s beneficent uncle, and prevent her newly landed governess from falling in love with, and remaining on, her island estate. Mysteries, missing persons, hauntings, and lost clan treasure divert the intrepid sleuth while plenty of Scottish vernacular adds to the atmosphere. Myrtle fans will be delighted, but readers who crave more realism may roll their eyes at a conclusion involving a ruthless local who acts like a sheltered city-slicker when faced with a pack of foxhounds.
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It was very satisfying to review the 5th Myrtle Hardcastle book as I had the privilege of reviewing the first two books of the series as well. From the first chapter of book 1, I knew Myrtle was destined for literary greatness. And book 5 did not disappoint!

Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity finds our young heroine packing for an excursion. Her governess, Miss Judson, had just been informed that she was heiress to an estate in Scotland and Myrtle will be accompanying her. From the moment they arrive, it becomes clear that someone does not want Miss Judson to inherit.

Miss Judson's uncle had died unexpectedly and Myrtle (of course) suspected foul play. The plot thickens as the body count increases and within the labyrinthine halls of the estate, Myrtle makes some surprising discoveries. As she and Miss Judson get closer to the truth, sinister forces continue working against them. But Miss Judson and Myrtle are not ones to back down from mystery or manipulation and they continue trying to discover the truth behind the mysterious happenings on the estate. 

The book offers stunning descriptions of Scotland's natural beauty and readers will pick up a nice assortment of Scottish vernacular (the author very helpfully provided a glossary at the back for translation). As Myrtle and Miss Judson peel back the layers of intrigue, readers will be taken on a wild ride through (possibly) haunted halls to solve clues for the ultimate treasure hunt: finding a part of the clan's ancestral history.

As the familial ties are revealed, Myrtle appreciates even more how much Miss Judson means to her and she hopes that she will not lose her governess to the charms of Scotland. I highly recommend this vocabulary-building, puzzle-solving mystery. While some characters do get killed, descriptions are not gory or overly detailed. Myrtle Hardcastle is a young sleuth worth meeting and I hope her adventures continue for many more books!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and the opinions expressed are mine alone.
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An incredible conclusion to a wonderful series. I can’t wait for the audiobook to be published! Excellent new characters add to the already lovely storytelling.
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Our favorite juvenile detective is off to Scotland with Miss Judson, Cook, and Peony. They will find themselves on a somewhat remote island with a murder mystery to solve and treasure to find. Dear reader, I thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous setting midst "loch and quay." Myrtle was her resourceful and precocious self. Miss Judson has some new prospects in her future. Will that little box ever make its way out of Mr. Hardcastle's desk? Cook was an I deniable asset on the expedition. They could not have managed without her. Peony was unremarkable and a bit disappointing. There are plenty of dogs on the island to add to the pet quota. Enjoyed the locked room vibes, but not my favorite of the series. The Scottish speak was a bit overwhelming. Might work better on audio. The Scottish lexicon is also helpful. See if you can spot the term that doesn't belong. Heres a hint, dear reader: it rhymes with Boo.

Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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I hope this series goes on forever. Every time, it's both familiar and new, which is a very fine line to walk as a novelist. As a reader, I love a good mystery series that the whole family can enjoy. As a teacher, I love that we always find so much varied vocabulary to discuss as a class.  This book in particular is full of Scottish dialects that will be fun to parse together.
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Review: This book was absolutely wonderful! My heart felt so full after finishing it. I loved getting to read about all the characters who returned in this book, and getting to meet all the new ones, as well. The mystery was really well written, and while I figured out part of it, I didn’t guess everything, which is always fun in a mystery novel. The setting was fantastic. And the ending!! I had such a big smile on my face, with a certain event that happened (no spoilers, but I think avid fans of the series will be as happy as I was while reading.) at the end. I would happily read many more Myrtle books! Overall, I loved MYRTLE, MEANS, AND OPPORTUNITY, and I highly recommend the Myrtle Hardcastle series to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, with wonderful characters!

I received an ARC from the publisher.
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This review is based on an ARC received from NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers.  I've been a fan of the Myrtle Hardcastle series since reading the first book. The characters are consistently delightful, especially Myrtle and Miss Judson. The side characters are memorable and it's always interesting to watch Myrtle unravel the mysteries. That being said, this series has had some weak points, which this installment doesn't correct. Most books written in continuing series do callbacks to the previous stories to help readers remember who characters are and why they act the way they do. Characters from previous volumes appear without any announcement as to their existing role in the story. As an example, Mr. Blakely always calls Myrtle by the name Stephen. This is from something that happened in the first book. Now I, as an adult reader, can remember how that happened, but I think it would be beneficial for the target audience to do callbacks to the important points from earlier volumes that continue to be used in the current volume. It would also help people who only read the series more casually to remember how the various supporting characters fit into the Hardcastle world.

One of the continuing points of the story across all five volumes is that Myrtle wants her father and Miss Judson to end up together. The first volume featured this to some extent and had some heartwarming missteps by both Miss Judson and Myrtle's father. After the first volume, any meaningful development in the relationship between the two was paused, aside from Myrtle occasionally thinking about it. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but there is some resolution in this volume to the will they/won't they question. Unfortunately, it suffers from a lack of buildup, and since Miss Judson and Myrtle's father barely interact in this story, the resolution to their relationship doesn't really feel like an actual resolution.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I continue to enjoy the series, despite thinking that it could use some improvement. The descriptions of Scotland and the island were thorough and made the setting feel real. If there is a sixth volume, I'll certainly read it.
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I was super stoked to receive an ARC of Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity. It is a deliciously wonderful tale about a serious of disappearances and murders in Scotland by Elizabeth Bunce. I absolutely loved this story; starting with the descriptions of the surroundings of the crumbling estate and home, the carnivorous deer, lovable pack of dogs, Peony the cat, all the other animals, but most importantly all the eccentric, hilarious characters. I enjoyed learning more about Miss Judson and her family. With the touches of romance, whimsy, wild situations, and some of the best dialogue (whether Myrtle's talking to herself or someone else) in any murder mystery I’ve read (right up there with Flavia de Luce) it’s no surprise the readers keep coming back. I was laughing out loud so much and intrigued by what was going to happen next I couldn’t put the book down. If you your murder with a side of humor  look no further than the latest Myrtle Hardcastle mystery.
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I received an electronic ARC from Algonquin Young Readers through NetGalley.
The fifth book offers readers an in depth look at a Scottish isle when Miss Judson is named the heir. Murder and mayhem abound as Myrtle tries to locate an heirloom lost for centuries and figure out who on the island is killing others. Bunce continues the dry humor and sassiness in her two main female characters. Readers will be delighted by the ending and hint of new ground to cover for Myrtle.
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It's a good day when there's a new Myrtle mystery, and this one does not disappoint. Myrtle and
her beloved Miss Judson are off to Scotland this time out, where adventure abounds. 
Full of humor and lively characters, I can't wait for young readers to meet Myrtle. The Scottish accent may present a wee challenge, but otherwise a compelling read aloud.
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One of my most recommended middle grade series for all ages! I went into this one having sworn I had read somewhere it was going to be the last in the series but reading the final pages… I think it isn’t over just yet! 

Thank goodness. 

This one was a lot of fun! Traveling with Miss Judson to a recently inherited Scottish Estate that is rumored to harbor ghosts and long lost treasure. A man is discovered dead by a pond and who else but Myrtle to solve the case of not only the body but also the lost treasure. 

I would love to hear this one on audio. Not only do you get a good description of the isolated Scottish island the estate is on but you get the characters with a strong accent. 

I really enjoyed this one and I hope to hear soon on when the next book will be set to publish!
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Oh, my, what has Myrtle got into this time! An isolated Scottish island with nasty neighbors, scheming lawyers, surly servants, eerie ghosts, ancient riddles, and a growing number of corpses! Will the new laird (Miss Judson) and her capable charge run back to England? Can't, someone sunk the boat! Things look dire, but an inquiring young lady of quality is sure to sort things out.

I think this may be my favorite Myrtle yet. Unfortunately, it feels like this may be the last Myrtle unless the series takes a new direction. If not, it's been a joyful experience spending time with her.
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This series is one of my favorites. 

Myrtle is fantastic. Her character voice is brilliant, and I love the footnotes sprinkled throughout the novel. I also really love how her character has developed and grown over the series so far. 

As always, the side characters shine as well. There are a number of new characters, as Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity takes place in Scotland, but some old friends from Swinburne appear as well. Honestly, Bunce does a wonderful job with her characters. 

Like I said above, there are several Scottish characters, and Bunce writes their dialogue with a Scottish accent. I liked how that added to the mood and setting, though there were a few times when I had to slow down reading and figure out what they were saying. 😂

Like with the rest of Myrtle's books, you can expect some twists and turns that will keep you wondering what will happen next to Myrtle and company. The ending is such that Bunce could end the series here, but I sincerely hope that she doesn't. Besides, the ending also has hints of what might be next for Myrtle, in my opinion. 

Another satisfying Myrtle mystery that has me waiting for the next one. 

Cautions: one bleeped-out swear word; brief, non-graphic violence * 

*It's been a little bit since I finished Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity, so I may have forgotten a caution
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It would be a shame if this one, perhaps the final one (the ending made me feel as if it could possibly be), was not as well-written as the others. But, I found myself enjoying it just as much as all the rest.

The Myrtle Hardcastle series is always done with a dash of humor and a heavy dose of adventure that is certain to delight middle-grade readers. If I were still in the age range for the target audience, I would have desperately wanted to be friends with Myrtle, by her side solving mysteries. I'd cozy right up on the couch with these books, and they'd be a series I would return to as an adult to read and delight in again.

Unfortunately, I am only getting to enjoy these as an adult. So, I think back to what 12 year old Sarah would rate them, and I score them accordingly. 

This book takes Myrtle on a trip to Scotland, to solve the case of a missing heirloom and, of course, a murder or two. She is accompanied by her usual stalwart companions, and makes new friends along the way. In typical fashion, she is clever but flawed, curious to a fault, and dealing with changes that she is not ready for. 

If this is the final book in the series, I wish she had been back in London for it, perhaps joined with characters from earlier books. I am not sure all the side-plots were taken care of, which gives me hope for another book in the series. I am by no means saying there has been a definitive end to them, but the just felt like it could be that way.

I'd like to thank Netgalley, the publisher, and Elizabeth C. Bunce for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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In this fifth book of the series, Myrtle travels to Scotland with Miss Judson to claim Miss Judson’s inherited estate. Astute readers will not fall for the red herrings. Myrtle’s wit and vocabulary remain as strong as ever.; she is always an interesting character to spend time with!
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Just when things are looking like Myrtle will finally get her wish and have Miss Judson stay with her forever, a mysterious letter appears. Miss Judson is the heir to an ancestral home in Scotland, and nothing will do but to go investigate the place for themselves and learn about the long-lost family that Miss Judson didn't even know existed. The two, along with Cook and Peony, travel all that way to discover that not only are they less than welcome additions to the island, there has been some ongoing mischief and otherworldly happenings affecting the residents. And the dangerous events keep happening. Can they solve the mystery before more someone else gets hurt? Or even killed?

Another great installment for Myrtle. These are such fun books and I look forward to each one as they are released. This one had a whole slew of new characters, some of which were a little difficult to keep straight. But overall this was a good mystery with a great you-can-see-it-coming-from-a-mile-away twist that every reader will be eagerly waiting for.

I received a DRC from the publisher via
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Myrtle Hardcastle's amazing governess, Miss Judson has received a mysterious telegram. She has apparently inherited an manor (!) in Scotland (!!) from a previously unknown relative. Myrtle, Miss Judson, Cook and Peony the cat set off to figure out what is actually going on. Adventures ensue, including an appalling number of dead bodies, ghostly appearances and a very large number of hounds. Myrtle manages her usual stealthy unraveling of clues, but will she manage to stop Miss Judson from falling in love with Scotland?

Elizabeth Bunce has done her usual delightful job with this 5th Myrtle Hardcastle mystery. Myrtle is 12, exceedingly bright, and utterly unwilling to fit into the mold of a late 19th century "young lady". Miss Judson is always a reliably stable character. In this installment of the series, Bunce has a great deal of fun with very broad Scottish accents. If there is an audio book of this, it would be an absolute hoot to listen to. Along with the charming regulars in the series, the move to Scotland introduces some memorable new characters. I am hoping that Mac, Jessie, Mrs Craig and Gus (along with the hounds, of course) will get to stick around for future installments. 

There is a lot for Myrtle to figure out in this story. The author uses the mystery to delve into unconventional family relationships, and this is something that many middle-grade readers will relate to and enjoy. An added bonus is discovering where the expression "Red Herring" came from. Bunce ties it all up with an exceedingly satisfying ending. This series, and this book in particular, would be a great way to introduce middle grade readers to the cozy mystery form. If students enjoy Enola Holmes, Myrtle would be someone they might like to meet. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the e-arc, in exchange for an honest review
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Miss Judson inherits a Scottish estate from someone who knew her father but she didn’t have a personal relationship with.  She, Myrtle, and Cook embark on visiting the property to decide what to do with it and, of course find themselves embroiled in a mystery as soon as they set foot in the village. A fun read but not particularly memorable.
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