In Which I Read/Solve "Trapdoor to Treachery" by Kieran Fanning


Code Crackers Book 1: Trapdoor to Treachery.

Sam and Lisa decide to do some investigating when a series of mysterious thefts plagues their town.  Following the trail of the thief, they are led into a strange and exciting world full of puzzles, elves and gobbledegooks.  They must take care however, as danger lurks around every corner.  Only with your help, can they catch the master criminal!

To read an extract and try a puzzle from Trapdoor to Treachery, click here.

Purchase on Amazon.

This book isn’t just your usual children’s book. It’s something just a little more, and something just a little better. Trapdoor to Treachery is also a puzzle book. I was absolutely amazed by this book upon recieving it–I had never seen the likes before. Not only was this a book for children to read, but it is something to engage their minds as well. You can’t simply read this book from page 1 through to page 128 like you would any other book; no, with this one you have to solve the puzzle to find the answer to your next page. For example: the story starts on page 4 with Sam and Lisa. You read page four, solve the clue with the illustrations accompanied on page 5, and the answer will be the next page you have to turn to, and so on. This is the perfect book to bring with you if you’re travelling long journeys and need to keep the kids (or yourself) happy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The recommended reading age might be for ages 9-13, but as a 22 year old, it had me flicking back and forth, back and forth until I eventually made my way to the end. I would have no problem in putting the recommended age of this up to 16 at a max, but even then it’s not just for that age group. I had so much fun with this book and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks! The puzzles at first are easy, and get slightly more complex as you go on, but I found myself a few times hesitating whether or not I should take a sneaky peak at the last page with all the answers on it. Alas, I didn’t and I struggled through and made my way to the end, feeling very satisfied in knowing I’m not completely stupid!

I loved this book, and the illustrations that accompanied it along with the puzzles were perfect. The only quarrell I had with it was at one or two points if I scimmed it and only read the puzzle, and not the prose, or answered the puzzle incorrectly, I was quickly going around in circles. At one point I found myself stuck, because I couldn’t figure out the right answer and had to keep doing the same three puzzles over and over until I figured out the correct answer. There’s certainly no cheating this one, because you’ll just find yourself having to do the same puzzles again until you do it properly and get the right answer.

Not only was this book fun and entertaining, it was educational! Yes, there, I said it–it was educational! If anything it helped the mind, and it made you use your brain. There are a nice couple of brain teasers in there, not to mention a riddle or two, decription, and mazes as well as a crossword. There’s something in there for everyone, and if I had this sort of book when I was in school, I probably would have enjoyed maths class a little better!

Trapdoor to Treachery is the first book of four in The Code Breakers series, and each one is just as good as the other. I’ve flicked through the other books, having not completed them yet, but I can still tell you that they are as entertaining and enjoyable as this one.


Book 2: Voyage to Victory

When a school trip to a museum gets interrupted by a security alert, Sam and Lisa are somehow transported back in time to the eighth century.  They suddenly find themselves in the clutches of a band of ferocious Vikings on a quest to steal the most valuable artefact in the world.  Sam and Lisa’s only hope of escape lies with this precious object.  Their hunt for it takes them on the most amazing adventure to distant worlds where they encounter fearsome Viking gods, an eight-legged horse and many other strange and wonderful creatures.  Sam and Lisa’s safe return to the twenty-first century depends on YOUR help!

To read an extract and try a puzzle from Voyage to Victory, click here.
Purchase on Amazon.

tempestoftroubleBook 3: Tempest of Trouble

The trouble starts at school when Sam and Lisa’s new teacher turns out to be an evil witch!  Using her magic wand and weird ingredients, Miss Sycorax casts one diabolical spell after another.  Before they know it, Sam and Lisa find themselves stranded on an enchanted island with this vengeful witch, her wart-infested son and a host of enslaved sprites and whispering ghosts.  Their only hope of escape is to banish the dreaded Sycorax.  They can only do this with your help!  Have you got what it takes?

To read an extract and try a puzzle from Tempest of Trouble, click here.

Purchase on

curseofthecockroachBook 4: Curse of the Cockroach

Millions of years ago, on a distant planet, a scientist entered his laboratory to find his cockroach experiment gone horribly wrong.  His cockroaches lay dead in their terrarium, spelling out the words of a curse.  Now, aeons later in the twenty-first century, creatures called Blats are ready to fulfil their ancestors’ prophecy.  Planet Earth is in serious danger.  The future of the human race depends on three people, Sam, Lisa and YOU!

To read an extract and try a puzzle from Curse of the Cockroach, click here.

Purchase on

All images and book blurbs are from the website of author and copyright of Kieran Fanning.

In association with Blackbird Books

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