Monday, October 23, 2023

Young Adult Mystery Review: Finding Fionn by M.J. Evans

This morning, I have a mystery novel for young adult readers in our book review spotlight! Check out Finding Fionn, learn about author M.J. Evans, read my thoughts on the book and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.


Book Title:  Finding Fionn - A Mystery Inspired by the Kidnapping of the Irish Racehorse Shergar by M. J. Evans
Category: Young Adult Fiction (Ages 13-17)
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Publisher:  Dancing Horse Press, 310 pages
Release date:  October 17 2023
Content Rating:  Rated G - Completely clean

A fast-paced story that will have mystery fans and horse lovers thoroughly captivated.  - Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Reader’s favorite

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About the Book

The excitement felt in the Winner’s Circle vanishes when the jockey’s beloved horse disappears from his stall in the dark of night. Patrick McCallin is a young Irish lad growing up in the 1980’s when all of Ireland is groaning under the weight of The Troubles. Born to ride, he pays little mind to the political unrest going on around him. He dreams only of becoming a jockey. Patrick’s dream comes true when he is selected to ride an up-and-coming Thoroughbred, named Fionn MacCool, in the biggest races in England and Ireland. Race after race ends with Fionn and Patrick in the Winner’s Circle. The pair captures the heart of all Ireland. But the dream becomes a nightmare when Patrick’s beloved horse is kidnapped and held for ransom. When the horse’s owner refuses to pay and the Irish Garda closes the case, Patrick and his best friends, Ronan and Maddie, have no choice but to find Fionn themselves.
My Review
Perfect for Horse Lovers and Mystery Lovers Alike.  I have read a few other books from M.J. Evans and I love her storytelling style and the way she weaves her vast knowledge of horses and riding into the character relationships, settings and plots of her novels.  This book is another wonderful story of the bond between the horse and his human.  While that segment of the novel is key, the mystery storyline is just as well done with enough realistic twists and turns to keep readers engaged and guessing from beginning to end.  While I am not happy that a book set in the '80's is "historical" fiction--the reality is just that it is to teen and young adult readers.  Setting this novel in 80's Ireland gives readers a view of Irish culture and politics that may not be well known to readers.  
Wonderful Characters create a Well-Crafted, Young Adult Story.  Evans creates animal and human characters to love.  It's impossible to not root for a happy ending for Patrick and Fionn.   As the mystery finds resolution, readers find a lot to learn about horses, horse racing, mystery solving and Irish history and culture.  While the book is a clean read for teen and young adult readers, parents and older horse lovers and mystery fans will enjoy this novel too.  
Would I Recommend Finding Fionn by M.J. Evans?  I grew up reading books about animals or mysteries.  It was always a wonderful find when I could combine those two loves into one story.  This book is a wonderful blend of mystery and horse-story.  I have enjoyed many of the author's novels--but, I think the setting and characters in this one pushes it to the top of my favorites from her.  If you (or a teen / young adult in your life) enjoy horses and mysteries--and the Irish culture--this book should be on your reading list.   

Buy the Book

Meet the Author

M.J. Evans is the author of more than twenty award-winning books for middle-graders, young adults, adults, and even a few picture books. Most of her titles are about horses or horse fantasy creatures. Ms. Evans is a graduate of Oregon State University and a former teacher of middle school and high school students. She is the mother of five and the grandmother of twelve. She and her husband live in Colorado.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram ~  facebook ~ goodreads ~ pinterest
Enter the Giveaway
FINDING FIONN Book Tour Giveaway

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