His parents are gone. Lost in the hectic rush of the harbor. Max Starling, actor extraordinaire and dean of disguises, has lost his parents to the instructions written on a mysterious letter promising riches. After they disappear, Max and his Gramma find that the rich ruler who invited his parents to his kingdom, does’t exist. Max realizes that if he is to survive long enough to find his parents, he needs to get a job. While job searching, he stumbles upon a lost child who, through a series of circumstances, he returns to the boy’s parents. The parents rewarded him greatly, and after another family asks him to find something for them, he realizes that the life of a detective is a promising future. He goes through many adventures, and meets dangerous and friendly people. He comes across peculiar stories, has to confront right and wrong, and although he helps everyone he works for, he still cannot help his own parents.
During the course of his detecting he meets Ari the tutor, Pia, Max’s “assistant”, and the dangerous Madame Olenka. There is a rumor that Max’s family has a hidden fortune, and Max believes that Madame Olenka is after it. Only time will tell whether Max can keep his home safe and continue his job.
Cynthia Voigt does a great job of connecting you to Max. The struggles Max encounters are very well thought out and you feel like you are solving them along side him. This book is recommended for kids ages 10 and up for a complex story line. Anyone who likes a mystery novel full of adventure would enjoy Mister Max The Book of Lost Things.