Mystery of the Counterfeit Money: A Review

Mystery of the Counterfeit Money is the third mystery that crime-solving team Jack and Jenny Carlton embark on in this fictional mystery book by Anthony Bollback.

This exciting story takes place in mysterious Hong Kong at the time of the Chinese New Year. If you are interested in mysteries, or counterfeit money, this is a fun book for you and your kids.

The Carlton family have been invited by their friends, Ruth and Tim Chen, to come and celebrate with them, but much to Jack and Jenny’s surprise, another mystery turns up in Hong Kong, and they land right in the middle of the Mystery of Counterfeit Money.

Anthony Bollback’­s talent for weaving a tale of intrigue captures young reader’s imagination from the very first page, which makes this book one of his most exciting mysteries yet.

As in the first two mysteries, Bollback skillfully includes the Carlton’s strong Christian beliefs along with the exciting exploits of the twins, which leads to a very important decision in the third book.

Strong Christian principles make this wholesome read suitable for any child aged 9 to 14.

The Mystery of the Counterfeit Money is filled with excitement, great escapes, some bad news, and of course, mystery. This book and the other mysteries in the series are suggested for ages 9-14, but even some adults may find it intriguing and it would be great to share as a family with children in the younger end of that age range.

The previous Jack and Jenny Mystery books by Anthony Bollback are, Smugglers in Hong Kong and Capture of the Twin Dragon.

You can find them at Amazon:
Mystery of the Counterfeit Money


Book Review: Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor

4.0 out of 5 stars Creaks a bit, but still afloat


The start of the novel was splendid, but his obsession with Lord Kingscourt’s sex life definitely detracts from the book. At the center of the story are also love stories, loves which are thwarted, perverted, destroyed by the Kingscourt men. Unfortunately, they all therefore lack depth in a novel of this scope. The famine aspect is covered in blistering detail, then forgotten.


Kingscourt’s character is by far the most compelling in the novel,  yet we learn little about him apart from the surface material until very near the end, by which time it is nearly too late. Mary is a cipher for the most part, as is Laura, his wife. Pius Mulvey becomes increasingly monstrous as the book goes on, to the point of him not even being human any more.


His willingness to do anything to survive which is commented upon by the author in the context of Kingscourt and the doctor Mangan’s conversation in the latter half of the book, does not excuse what he’s done. He blights the woman he claims to love his whole life and still expects her to come back to him.


The book becomes so Dickensian it loses its humanity and appeal. Even the name Pius is used with heavy handed irony.


Still, for its descriptions of Connemara, and the Famine, almost all accurate and very well researched, it is well worth reading. (even if it has been done better elsewhere). For some great books on Ireland and the famine, read Shannon Farrell’s historical romance novels of the period.