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A Pocketful of Eyes

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  777 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Smart, funny, page-turning contemporary crime fiction in the tradition of Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie—and Veronica Mars

Beatrice May Ross is smart, observant, and analytical, so when a dead body is discovered in the taxidermy department at the museum where she's interning, she's determined to use her sleuthing skills to solve the case. A dead body in the Red
Paperback, 311 pages
Published May 16th 2011 by Allen & Unwin, Australia (first published May 1st 2011)
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Apr 11, 2011 Flannery rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA Mystery Fans
Recommended to Flannery by: My Love of Wilkinson's novel Pink
Formula for the book, includes about 15 ingredients leading to an Awesome Aussie Author which leads to a picture of the book

3.5 stars.
Aug 07, 2011 Jo rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

“She had carried a detective kit everywhere she went, containing a magnifiying glass, a pair of rubber gloves, a notebook, a sharpened pencil, a battered Miss Marple novel and a lipstick, because, as Nancy Drew had taught her, lipstick wasn’t just for glamour….”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
This book was fun fun fun but now I have the overwhelming urge to go to the Manchester Museum.

High Points.
Museums. Taxidermy. Mystery. Murder. Stuffed tigers. Glass eyes. Fun facts. Wheelie chairs.
Shirley Marr
Jun 20, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
Lili Wilkinson is a plucky, gutsy author! She decides to single-handedly bring sexy-back to old school detective stories by bringing it into YA fiction. Do I think she's achieved the goal? After trying to do Bee the Girl Detective of this novel proud and looking at Exhibit 1: Novel - A Pocketful of Eyes under the microscope I have deduced:

1. Going about it by writing a novel full of Geek Girl facts, ironically hip characters, cool dialogue and her trademark over the top humour is the right way t
Aug 06, 2011 Tatiana rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Flannery
A Pocketful of Eyes had all the potential to be a super-nerdy romantic comedy a la Past Perfect.

Bee and Toby work at Melbourne Natural History Museum in the Taxidermy Department, meaning they stuff dead animal skins. Bee has an obsession with detective stories. And Toby is a walking animal world encyclopedia (Male and female hearts beat differently, but if you put a man’s heart into a woman, it’ll start behaving like a woman’s heart. But if you put a female heart into a male, it’ll always beat
3.5 stars

Taking place in a Melbourne museum with monetary woes, A Pocketful of Eyes is a twisty mystery that involves animal trivia, taxidermy, a tiger and a cute boy called Toby. (And that’s enough cheesy alliteration from me).

Bee is working a summer job in the department of taxidermy at the Museum of Natural History, trying to avoid thinking about the fact that her boyfriend may prefer her best friend, and ignore her handsome new colleague, when the body of her mentor and supervisor and turns
Nov 30, 2012 Mith rated it really liked it
If Sherlock Holmes were a teenage girl, he'd probably be like Bee Ross. Bee likes to observe things and break them down into bullet points. She also likes mysteries and can list all of the original Nancy Drew book titles from memory (that won me over, that did). She works in the taxidermy department (when was that seen last time in YA?!) of a Museum - where she stuffs dead animals - alongside a cute nerd, who seems to know the ins and outs of the mating rituals of all the animals ever, AND her m ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Keertana rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 Stars

You’d think that amidst the constant praise for Aussie YA Novels you’d come across at least one book that didn’t hit the mark, but Lili Wilkinson’s A Pocketful of Eyes is not that story. Wilkinson, like so many Aussie authors, seems to have a knack for throwing together various ideas such as murder mysteries, nerdy sci-fi shows like Doctor Who and Star Wars, science museums, random trivia and Trixie Belden together to create an intriguing, funny, and utterly compelling novel. I
Apr 25, 2011 ALPHAreader rated it it was amazing
Beatrice May Ross is one peculiar teenager. Beatrice ‘Bee’ is interning at the Melbourne Natural History Museum’s Department of Preparation over the holidays. Because Bee enjoys taxidermy – reanimating an animal with pins, glass eyes and careful stitching. Bee loves taxidermy almost as much as she loves a good mystery – everything from Trixie Belden to Agatha Christie and Janet Evanovich (anything but that primly perfect Nancy Drew. Bee can’t stand that sickening sweet do-gooder).

So Bee is oddl
May 31, 2011 Jaki rated it really liked it
If you can get past the idea that the police would take one look at a dead body on the floor of the museum, a bottle of poison clutched in his hand, and immediately declare it a suicide without searching the room nor doing an autopsy, then you can settle back and enjoy the ride.

Despite this rather glaring plot-hole, A Pocketful of Eyes by Australian author Lili Wilkinson is actually an enjoyable read. How refreshing to come across a book in the Young Adult genre, aimed at girls, that does NOT co
Rachel Lightwood
4.5 stars

I don't understand why this book doesn't have much hype? Its fantastic! The characters were simply marvellous. It was eerie how similar Bee was to myself; her obsession with Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon, how she had her own "detective kit", her aspirations, her social awkwardness and lack of relationships. She could have been my clone - and how can you possibly dislike a character that strongly reminds you of yourself?

Now lets talk about Toby... swoon. He is my custom-made boyfriend. I
Apr 04, 2013 Hallie rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This one took quite a while to pull together, for my taste, which is a pity, as when it did, it was pretty great. I just found the tone slightly off, and Bea slightly too broadly drawn, and it clashed with the actual seriousness of the mystery to have Bea be all Nancy Drew about it. Her running commentary about the relationship between real life and mystery novels was fundamental to the story, but the novels she's referencing are those for *young* readers. The cases aren't likely to be the prota ...more
Rating: 4.25/5

Disclaimer: I found this picture while I was not looking for sexy guys with glasses, and I think he is perfect for Toby.

Favorite quote:
Life wasn’t a detective novel. You couldn’t just be objective and stand back and believe everything would work itself out. Life was messy and had a way of tangling you up in its messiness and making everything all knotted and confusing. Not every crime had a villain. Not every question had an answer. Not every mystery had a neat solution.

I think
Jul 07, 2012 Isamlq rated it liked it

Never mind her trying to be Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden or even Veronica Mars, Bee is such an odd ball… and she made me laugh so hard. She’s too old for the mystery bit, and got caught up in her not so simple little scenarios, but the things she did to move forward were priceless!

She’s not the only odd ball either. For one, there’s her mother. For another, there’s Toby. I got a kick out of her mother... what with her dating a Celestial Badger and her D& D nights. Fun! I got kick out of
Jun 10, 2011 Skye rated it it was amazing
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

A Pocketful Of Eyes is a quirky, fun, and unique murder mystery novel for reluctant mystery novel readers. I count myself in that group.

The first thing you'll notice in A Pocketful Of Eyes is the main character. She's clever, funny, and a little peculiar (which I suppose you need to be to work as a taxidermist for the summer), and her voice is strong and apparent in each word. With each piece of narration, even through third person, I felt
A Pocketful of Eyes - Review 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Bee I love her name. Her POV was quiet interesting. She was a fairly good narrator. Her fasination with crime novels was an interesting quirk. Although the amount of times she listed things made me want to rip her head off. I mean the lists that involved Toby were so pointless. She also jumped to conclusions quiet quickly. I also found her a bit self centered, but her character development was great and by the end she was a little less s
Maree Kimberley
Oct 05, 2011 Maree Kimberley rated it it was amazing
This is a really fun book and something fresh on the YA scene. I love a quirky, smart protagonist (who's a bit of a dag as well) and Bea is just that. The pace is fast, dialogue is pitch perfect and each of the characters is well-rounded. The mystery really is a mystery and although there were clues along the way the ending came as a surprise to me - but it all made sense! If I had to nitpick, (and this is nitpicking) the mother character was a bit annoying - maybe she was just a little too diff ...more
Kirsty Leishman
Things to like about A Pocketful of Eyes:

1. It's a contemporary homage to classic fictional detectives from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple.
2. The central character, Bee, has a volunteer job as a taxidermist at a museum. That's cool.
3. Bee looks askance at anyone who makes dumb remarks about mobile phones and social media.
4. Bee's nickname for her mother's new boyfriend is the Celestial Badger
5. I learned the difference between venom and poison thanks to Bee's nerdy love interest, Toby.
Aug 03, 2014 Kirsti rated it liked it
I really like how this author represents smart, independent girls. Bee is a fantastic character, full of spunk and facts. I liked Toby too, with his quirky mating animal facts, he was a fun romantic interest. The mystery was a good one, and I certainly didn't pick the twist, but I never really liked Gus so it was hard to care about catching his killers. Quick read, once I found the time to just sit and read, but not as good as some of Lili Wilkinson's other books. Three stars!
This was fantastic, full of weird, obscure facts. Lili Wilkinson is a fantastic Aussie Author! I couldn't put this down. Even when I fell asleep whilst reading, I was still holding onto it when I woke up. See? I was committed to this book :)
This is a must-have on library shelves. Quirky setting, romantic set-up, a tasty little mystery, nerdy facts chucked in for fun; I,'m hoping Lili writes more along this line - it's something that's been sorely missing in YA fiction.
May 05, 2011 Saniya marked it as to-read
Hehehe :p The girl on this cover looks like Rebecca Black! *Its Friday Friday* xD
I liked the trailer :)
Anna Ryan-Punch
Apr 24, 2011 Anna Ryan-Punch rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-childrens
This review originally appeared in Viewpoint: On Books for Young Adults.

Lili Wilkinson’s latest novel A Pocketful of Eyes takes the mystery-romance genre and gives it a modern YA twist. Bee has the summer before year 12 all sorted out. Rather than heading to the beach with friends, Bee has a holiday job in the taxidermy department of the Museum of Natural History. She spends her days working in ‘companionable silence’ with the reticent Gus, coiling wire and cotton wool around preserved animal sk
Tara Calaby
(4.5 stars)

I'm amazed that there aren't more Young Adult mysteries out there. It's such a well-loved genre when it comes to junior and middle grade fiction, what with the massive popularity of the Enid Blyton mysteries and series such as Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but then there's a real hole in the market in the section between those books and their adult counterparts. I was excited, therefore, to discover A Pocketful of Eyes. I knew of Lili Wilkinson from her excellent Pink
Mar 14, 2012 meeners rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, ya
picked this up solely because i thought the title might be an allusion to agatha christie's a pocket full of rye (and it is) - always a good sign.

but i thought this kind of 中途半端 overall. i figured out the Big Reveal about a quarter into the book (it is textbook whodunnit!) and then spent most of the time immensely frustrated at the author for making it too easy. (mysteries are only fun, after all, if the author is able to outwit you.) if you are a devout fan of agatha christie and all the other
Aug 18, 2012 Fiel rated it liked it
This was really, really fun. The fact that most of it takes place in a museum and largely involves taxidermy was a major bonus factor for me, and Toby's endless animal trivia never got old. Bee herself was a great heroine, quick on her feet and very likeable, and her mystery genre geekery—there were tons of Christie, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden references—was a good touch (I could relate!). It was meta, in a way, the way Scream was savvy when it came to slashers.

As for the mystery, it was origi
Mar 04, 2012 kb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-favorites
I was meant to read Pink first but couldn't find any copy so I had to settle down with Lili Wilkinson's second book, A Pocketful of Eyes. Which wasn't such a bad deal. At all. Because it was just the kind of story I've been wanting to read for a long time, without me even knowing it. It was the whole package - drama, suspense, mystery, thrill, romance, YA - and it was a win-win situation for those who are fond of character-driven stories and those who prefer plot-driven ones BECAUSE it's both th ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Prashanti rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls who like simple mysteries and cute, nerdy boys.
"A Pocketful of Eyes" is the first proper detective novel that I've ever read, and I honestly really enjoyed it. The pace of the book was great, not too slow/boring and not too quick either.

This book was engaging and very, very funny. I really enjoyed Toby's awkward trivias about animals, (most of the time animal mating!) It really was hilarious, some of the random stuff Toby would say at the most inconvienient of times! :)

I loved how the author made the reader suspicious of all the characters a
Sue Bursztynski
Jun 19, 2011 Sue Bursztynski rated it liked it
There's the usual Lili Wilkinson over-the-top humour, with the mother who plays Dungeons and Dragons in costume and plays computer games in between SF cons. the heroine who has a passion for crime fiction from Trixie Belden to PD James and the trivia-spouting but rather cute geeky boy she meets at work.

As mystery goes, I admit I didn't spot the rather Poirot-ish ending, although I did notice all those clues - no, Clues - jumping up and down through the novel, shouting, "Hey! Clue!", probably bec
Sep 07, 2014 Georgie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya
A great Aussie YA mystery, Bee has a part time job at the Natural History Museum in the taxidermy department. She enjoys the precise and careful work she does down in the museum’s basement, and she likes her quirky boss, Gus. She’s kind of annoyed when a new guy, Toby, a uni student, turns up to work with her and Gus, especially because he happens to be good looking and flirty and she isn’t sure what to do with that.
Then Gus is found dead in the museum’s Red Rotunda, apparently from suicide. But
Aug 16, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya-reads
Lili Wilkinson just never fails to impress me! This is my third book I've read by her, and I've finished it with a goofy smile on my face and an already blooming feeling of nostalgia because man I'm gonna miss reading something by her. Reading about Bee and her love of mystery novels and detective skills was an absolute joy, and made me want to take up a summer job at a natural history museum where I can have my own Toby. The solution to the whole puzzle admittedly did surprise me, because I rea ...more
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Lili Wilkinson was born in Melbourne, Australia, in the front room where her parents still live. She is an only child, and loves it. She was first published when she was 12, in Voiceworks Magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University, Lili was employed by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, where she manages, a highly acclaimed all-a ...more
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