Book Review: Beneath the Crimson Circle, by Farah Zaman
From the onset, Farah Zaman, Author of Beneath the Crimson Circle, the fourth YA installment in The Moon of Masarrah Series, takes her mystery-solving, world-traveling characters, and readers on their next adventure––this time to the underground graveyard catacombs in Noha. Little do they know that contained inside these ancient chambers of the dead, along its many corridors and passageways, lie centuries of secrets, surprises, and answers––or so the sleuthing foursome hope!
These tenacious amateur teen sleuths, Zahra and Zaid, and their friends Layla and Adam, bravely face danger to clear Idris––the young man wrongfully arrested and framed for Professor Musani’s recent murder. The teens join forces and brain-power, doing what they can to capture the real killer. However, time and opportunity are quickly slipping away, and poor Idris is wallowing inside the jail, awaiting a trial for a murder he claims he did not commit.
Middle-grade YA readers, the target audience for this novel, will enjoy trying to solve this well-plotted mystery. The author has interwoven many architectural and historical facts and interlaced Islamic concepts and details organically into the plot. Although a few personalities could have used a tinge more fleshing out, overall, this well-written story carried the characters nicely. Lastly, there are enough twists, turns, and just the right balance of suspense mixed with intrigue in Beneath the Crimson Circle to keep YA readers engaged without having to contend with the graphic, foreboding dark elements often found in [most] adult crime/mystery novels.
***Side note: This series would make a superb boxed set for some lucky mystery YA readers. Just say’ in … !
About The Author: Farah Zaman
"As a young girl, Farah spent many hours with her head buried in books of mystery, intrigue and adventure. The inevitable outcome was picking up pen and paper to create her own stories. Farah's love of reading coupled with her love of writing gave her the impetus to complete her first novel. She presently lives in New York with her family." ––Goodreads
The Moon of Masarrah Series
(3 book series) Kindle Edition
From Book 1: WINNER OF THE DAYBREAK PRESS YOUNG ADULT AWARD 2019!
"Would you help to look for a famous diamond if you knew it might cost you your life? Zaid had no idea of the danger involved when he and his sister Zahra, join with new friends Layla and Adam in a quest to find the missing Moon of Masarrah diamond. Their idyllic summer vacation takes many surprising twists and turns as they rummage around Bayan House for the elusive gem. Discovery of a dusty journal compels them to investigate an old murder, and mysterious boats in Bayan Cove throw them into the path of dastardly pirates. The teenagers are tested to the limits of endurance as they face one setback after another. Will they succeed in solving the riddle that will lead them to the long-lost diamond? Or will they be scared off by dangerous enemies determined to stop them at all costs?" The Moon of Masarrah is Book One of Farah Zaman’s Moon of Masarrah Series.