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Kensy and Max: Full Speed by Jacqueline Harvey

Title: Kensy and Max: Full Speed

Author: Jacqueline Harvey

Genre: Spy fiction, mystery

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Price: $16.99

Synopsis: What do you do when your instincts and obligations pull you in opposite directions? When there are multiple leads, which one do you follow?

After a school excursion goes horribly wrong, Kensy and Max are left with a sneaking suspicion that the incident was no accident. But there’s no time for investigation as the twins are whisked away to Switzerland on a fully sanctioned Pharos mission.

Upon landing in Zermatt, Kensy and Max are tasked with infiltrating the Van Leer family. Strange as the Van Leers are, proof of their misdeeds is scarce. And when a surprising figure appears in the ski town, it seems there is more than one mystery to solve. Kensy and Max are on a mission for justice and won’t stop until it’s served.


Kensy and Max are back in a fantastic new adventure! After an incident at the Houses of Parliament during a history excursion, the twins and their family are sent to Zermatt in Switzerland. Once here, Kensy and Max must infiltrate the Van Leer family, and befriend the son, Soren. They’re on a sanctioned Pharos mission with their parents, Ed and Anna. Ed is keen, but Anna feels she’s had her hand forced.

They arrive in Zermatt, and settle into Granny Cordelia’s chalet, planning their surveillance and run-in with the Van Leers, their primary mission. Yet Kensy and Max are faced with another mystery: a mysterious and familiar face from London. Is he linked to the Van Leers, or is there something else nefarious going on? Only Kensy and Max can find out!

Kensy and Max are always in non-stop, action packed adventures across the world, Pharos and the Central London Free School. Skiing in Zermatt is their latest adventure and is a great read for middle grade readers – and anyone else who has been enjoying the series! This exciting instalment zips and shoops along the slopes of Zermatt as they work to uncover an arms smuggling ring, and who is behind the hacks that have been plaguing many large corporations across the world, and threaten to take down security systems.

Whilst this series can be read as stand-alone stories, there is a definite series thread, and characters that appear throughout the series and are driving forces for Kensy and Max’s journey, even harkening back to the beginning of the series, Breaking News. As with the previous books, the chapter titles are written in code, the QWERTY code in this instance, where the alphabet corresponds with the QWERTY keyboard layout. Q =A, W = B, E = C and so on. The action ramps up as Kensy and Max and their parents set up surveillance on the Van Leer, and builds throughout the novel, creating epic tension and edge of the seat, must stay up and finish the story narrative tension and action.

Kensy and Max stories are always page turners, are addictive and celebrate family, friendship, and loyalty, whilst using mystery and spy themes to tell an exciting story for readers aged eight and older. It also celebrates diversity and shows that boys and girls don’t have to fit into stereotypes, which is the beautiful thing about Jacqueline Harvey’s books – they’re for all readers, and all readers can see something of themselves in the characters that she creates. Bring on more Kensy and Max!

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