The Blackthorn Key: 11/04/16
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands is a mystery set in 1665 London. Someone is killing the city's apothecaries. Apprentice Christopher Rowe witnessed the murder of his master. To save his future as an apothecary and save others, he has to bring the murderer to justice.
Mixed into this otherwise decent tween mystery are cryptic clues left by Master Benedict Blackthorn. The clues are of similar ilk to the puzzles included in the 39 Clues books and Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown.
The puzzles though here get in the way of the actual plot. Sure they're fun to decode but they take time away from a fascinating plot involving treason.
The sequel, Mark of the Plague was released in September, 2016.