Outside Chance (Don't Doubt the Rainbow 2)

By: Anthony Kessel


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Size198mm x 129mm
PublishedDecember 2022

The second book in the Don’t Doubt the Rainbow series, Outside Chance is a fast-paced YA thriller in which teen detective Edie Marble is tasked with solving four very different but equally puzzling mysteries.

It’s been three months since 13-year-old Edie solved the case of her mother’s death and became a supersleuth. Now, her reputation is spreading far and wide – everyone wants her help to solve mysteries …

Why does Edie’s neighbour’s long-lost friend suddenly keep turning up wherever she goes? How can students fail an exam when they know their answers were correct? What led to the vicious attack on an elderly woman on Hampstead Heath? And – most alarming of all – should Edie’s schoolfriend be worried about his stepfather’s new activist friends?  

To solve each mystery, Edie must harness the Three Principles, a new approach to understanding how the mind works that is currently proving invaluable in improving mental health and well-being in children internationally.

As tensions across the city reach fever pitch, can Edie follow the clues and coach her own mind to avert a potential catastrophe?

Reading age 11+.

Shortlisted for the MadeForMums Toy Awards 2023!

Catch up with Edie's first adventure in The Five Clues.


Picture for author Anthony Kessel

Anthony Kessel

Professor Anthony Kessel is a public health physician, academic and author who works at NHS England HQ as Clinical Director (National Clinical Policy). Anthony is an international authority on public health and a Trustee Director of BookTrust, and also advises other charities on global health and mental health. Anthony has trained as an executive coach and writes a personal column – ‘Global Health Experience’ (https://medium.com/@AKessel) – exploring his leadership work through a lens of psychological well-being.


  1. "I read this book very quickly and I loved it! The plot was fast-paced, and Eddie was a very inspiring character who I really liked."

    "A great storyline, I loved the way it was written."

    "I would recommend this book to anyone who is into crime and mystery books."

    "I liked how Edie was a detective in our modern day and was our age, it made her a lot more relatable than main characters in other detective fiction."

    "An exciting book – I was captivated by mysterious plot."

    "I found Edie's love for the climate and the lessons she learned along the way very inspiring."

    "Not the type of book I would normally read but it was great, I would happily recommend it to anyone."

    "I loved both books in the series so far and thought both were thrilling and action-packed."

  2. Outside Chance by Anthony Kessel is the second part of the Don’t Doubt the Rainbow series centred on teenage super-sleuth Edie Marble. This time, she has a cluster of cases to solve — the reappearance of one client’s long-lost classmate as a possible stalker; the disappearance of several dogs, and the worrying behaviour of a friend’s father, with possible links to terrorism. As if those challenges were not enough, Edie also has to cope with batmitzvah lessons. Kessel deftly lays a network of plot strands, then lights the fuse for an explosive finale. Age 11+, would appeal to fans of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series.

  3. I enjoyed reading Outside Chance, as did my 12-year-old daughter. I have previously read the first book in the series and found this book easier to read (although I really enjoyed the first book too). Perhaps the scene-setting in book one outlining Edie’s family circumstances and developing the storyline of her initial grief following her mother’s death, as well as the developing mystery with the doctors, made the first book a little more complex. Outside Chancepresents several mysteries, such as the missing dog and the failed exam, and I think that this book could be enjoyed without reading the first in the series (although would be better if read after the first). There are some good links to the previous book (such as Ethan outlining his mom’s recovery in Chapter 2, the Three Principles, and the letter from Peter Goswell).

    There is good character progression with the main character, Edie, revealing more about herself and her Jewish heritage as the plot unfolds. The developing relationship with her dad as time passes following her mother’s death and the personal troubles of characters such as Lizzie add an emotional side to the book alongside the mysteries. I enjoyed reading details which are challenges to stereotypes (such as Dr Young having a nose piercing).

    The chapter titles engage the reader (e.g. ‘(Lucky) Escape’) and the prologue starts the book dramatically with Edie trapped in a cupboard in a fire.  This hooks the reader in right at the start and reminds the reader about her mom. Throughout the book there are puzzles which encourage the reader to keep reading (such as when Donna and Rachel had both been to the Fitzwilliam Musuem).

    I enjoyed reading the section about fatalism and determinism in the discussion with the rabbi - this is clearly presented and encourages the reader to think about their own beliefs. By Chapter 10, the book’s title of Outside Chance is explained – things happen for a reason without luck.

    As an adult reader, there were moments in the book which I thought were unlikely (such as being able to successfully tap into Heath’s conversation and retrieve the device, and being able to find the exam paper on Dr Bannon’s computer). Being able to successfully detonate the bomb in seconds, whilst dramatic, was unlikely too. Likewise, I thought it was unlikely that Edie would have told Rochelle that Donna works for the security services. When terrorism is threatened and after the crash with the motorcyclist with the axe, I would have hoped that Edie would have gone to the police or school with the information.

    Edie’s health is considered more in this book – as well as asthma, her anxiety and panic attacks are discussed with the positive message that help is available. She is presented as a brave character taking action, such as arranging to meet Dr Bannon and dealing with the bomb.  It is interesting to see that respected adults such as Donna are asking for Edie’s help and this supports the message in the book that whatever your age, you can play a part in society and make a difference.

    As with the first book, a strength of this book is the way that serious issues such as terrorism and environmental issues are included alongside very everyday scenes and situations. For example, in Chapter 1 there is a very relatable scene when Edie’s brother is playing FIFA before going to football training, and when a child in school grabs the can of Fanta – this may help similar-aged readers to imagine that it could be them. There are many details such as references to Greggs, Spotify, Zoom, WhatsApp and silent electric cars to make this book feel up to date for modern readers.  The end of the final chapter sets the scene for the next book in the series, which we are looking forward to. I would recommend this book for secondary school students or for families with secondary school students to read together. I also love the idea of a Spotify list at the end of the book.

  4. Outside Chance is the second book in the Don’t Doubt the Rainbow series. It is about a teenage girl called Edie, who, just one year prior, lost her mum. Ever since the mystery of her mum’s death, she has decided to become a detective. However, the cases increase day after day. Can she juggle her social, educational and detective lives all at once, or will she have to abandon one of them?

    My favourite character is Edie because even after she lost her mum, she is still desperate to make her proud. I also like Eli because, even though I don’t have a sibling, I can imagine he is the epitome of the lazy younger brother who just plays FIFA all day.

    If you like detective stories, this is for you. It’s sort of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Even if you don’t like detective stories, you can still enjoy this book because there are so many themes involved, so the book will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

    My favourite part of the book was when the owners were reunited with their dogs. I couldn’t bear reading about those missing dogs!

    P.S. Anthony Kessel, I enjoyed meeting you at the Dudley Children’s Book Awards at Dormston School.

  5. This book is the sequel to The Five Clues from the Don’t Doubt the Rainbow series, and it did not disappoint!

    Its main character, Edie, a teenage girl who became a supersleuth in the previous story, trying to uncover the circumstances of her mum’s death, is now tasked with solving lots of cases from her neighbourhood. The adventures she encounters in the process will keep readers of any age on tenterhooks throughout the story. Through Edie’s story, young readers are familiarised with difficult concepts such as climate change, mental health, serious illness and bereavement (Edie continues to come to terms with the loss of her mum).

    What I particularly liked about this book was that, although it is predominantly aimed at young readers, it does not shy away from discussing difficult psychological concepts like the Three Principles and is consequently opening up a new world of thinking to its young readers, one that is not often encountered elsewhere.

    Although the story has a tendency of going ‘off track’ and mentioning things which are irrelevant to its development – something which the first book was also prone to do – this does not distract too much from the overall enjoyment of reading about Edie’s adventures and how she solves her cases. There are times when this book feels more appropriate for older readers due to the sensitivity of some of the themes covered, but Edie’s portrayal of a modern-day superhero will definitely entice a younger audience too.

    Overall, an enjoyable read with a positive message to its young readers!

  6. I found this series really different, offbeat and although it tackles grief, anxiety and other mental health issues, it's still so much fun to read and the plot kept me turning the pages. I often get people asking me for recommendations for kids who are 11-13 years old and who want to read more YA but aren't ready for some of the darker stuff and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this for them. Edie is a gutsy, brave character with a will of iron and a stubborn streak that gets her into a whole lot of trouble – I could really relate to her. Also I used to live in Crouch End and Edie and I were on the same bus route!

  7. Edie had a crazy year solving the case of her mum’s death (in book 1) and is having an even crazier year because she has been nominated for the Brave Peoples Award and now has two very complicated new cases to solve AND serious best friend troubles!!! 

    What made you want to read the sequel?
    I loved the first book so much and as soon as I found out that there was a sequel I could not wait to read it. The first one was so gripping and fun to read. I just love these books!⁠

    Favourite character?
    Edie is my favourite character because she is very fun and independent and just a very interesting character to follow the life of!! ⁠

    Would you recommend this to your friends?
    Definitely I think it is such an interesting book and if you like crime mysteries and drama then you will LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!

  8. "I loved the story line, it really kept me engaged. A page turner! I enjoyed how Edie’s character is evolving in Outside Chance, in particular how she is gaining deeper trust in her wisdom. I love how Anthony seamlessly weaves the 3 Principles into the story. The message of the energy and intelligence behind life is coming alive as Edie’s trust in wisdom deepens. What a beautiful way to engage the readers in a moving story with a powerful underlying message of hope, resilience and well-being!”

  9. Another compelling adventure for Edie Marble and her community! It was really lovely to spend time with Edie and her gutsy curious and resourceful ways again. She's a protagonist who I feel sure will give readers a sense that they can affect change in a difficult world.

    In Outside Chance, Edie feels like she's really growing her investigative wings. I very much enjoyed how she is rooted in her Jewish heritage – her exploration of how she relates to her community, beliefs, her roots and branches is one of the confidence-boosting foundation stones of Edie moving forward in the story. It feels like it bolsters her sense of self and where she belongs.

    How do we build a sense of ourselves and how we relate to each other across generations in today's world? How can the discoveries Edie make help to build this strength in her and her family after their loss? Where can our discoveries take us in a life well lived? These seem to me to be the cornerstones of this story that really begin to explore in more depth the principles that underpin Edie's growing years and Anthony's work.

    The often-bumpy rites of passage of teenage years are underpinned in Outside Chance by strong foundation stones of belonging, identity, curiosity and the power of friendship, family and community to help navigate the journey. Edie is on her way and readers will enjoy seeing how the principles that underpin her growing years can provide safety nets in troubled times and also help her to fly.

  10. “The second book in the Don't Doubt the Rainbow Series, Outside Chance follows Edie's newly blossoming career as a supersleuth and her reluctant rise to fame. A contemporary detective novel with a twist of real emotional intelligence, I couldn't put it down – it's a pacey read!

    Edie's learning about the Three Principles (mind, thought, and consciousness) are directly linked to her ability to cope with increasingly challenging situations in her own life. I love Edie's determination and increasing resilience. Her struggle to balance gritty detective work with friendships, school and preparing for her bar mitzvah feels very real. I'd recommend it to competent readers who enjoy a real page-turner.”

  11. Harry enjoyed this book especially the mystique behind the story. The topic was appropriate and suited a 13 year old. The writing was accessible for him as well .

  12. I loved this book, it was a perfect sequel to book one, it did not disappoint! It was great to to revisit Edie and her family. It entwined many different mysteries which kept me wanting to read more. In this book Edie has to interview and make plots to discover more information about the unsolved mysteries, I really liked that this about the book because it made the storyline full of exciting action. Edie is a very headstrong character and deals with intense situations so calmly, she never gives up. This book, in my opinion is even better than the first book. I hope that Anthony Kessel writes a third book for the series.

  13. This book was amazing! As soon as I received it, I sat and read the whole thing. It was a great sequel to the first book and was full of mystery. I won this from a Toppsta giveaway and was very excited when I opened my parcel and it had a bag of sweets and letter from the author inside. The story is absolutely brilliant and I don't think it could have been better. I would recommend to ages 10+.

  14. Loved this book, it was a perfect sequel to book one, it did not disappoint! It was great too to revisit Edie and her family. It entwined many different mysteries which kept me wanting to read more. In this book Edie has to interview and make plots to discover more information about the unsolved mysteries, I really liked that this about the book because it made the storyline full of exciting action. Edie is a very headstrong character and deals with intense situations so calmly, she never gives up. This book, in my opinion is even better than the first book. I hope that Anthony Kessel writes a third book for the series.

  15. This is an amazing book!  In my opinion it's better than the first book.   I got the first book at Christmas from one of my aunts and didn't know what to expect.  This time I was expecting to see the brilliant characters being brought to life again with mystery and intrigue and boy it more than delivered!  There were twists and turns galore I couldn't put it down.  Please write another. 
    Ps thanks for the sweets and letter

  16. I loved this book, it was the perfect sequel to book one, Anthony Kessel has got Edie's next adventure spot on! It did not disappoint!

    It was great to revisit Edie and her family and after only a few pages of reading I was totally hooked back in and in tune with all of the characters. This book entwined many different mysteries which kept me engaged and wanting to read on, I wanted to help Edie every step of the way. The mysteries were never too easy to solve which meant that the story just kept pulling me in to find the answers in each chapter. I love Edie's character, she is head strong and determined and she deals with intense situations so calmly, she never gives up, her mum would be so proud of her.

  17. I hadn’t read the first book but I found you could pick it up quite easily. I really like Edie as a character and what I really like about this book as it doesn’t just focus on the crimes that need to be solved but also focuses on finding about Edie and her life. It’s a bit different to normal detective novels. I like that it’s set London in modern day so you can relate to it. I also like that it has a few mysteries to solve rather than just one. I don’t want to say to much about the storyline so I don’t spoil anything or give anything away. 
    It is not like any other book that I have read and therefore I found it quite refreshing to read. Definitely recommend to 11+ age groups. 
    Looking forward to the next one. If you like a good mystery add this to your list!

  18. Supersleuth Edie Marble is on the case again, or more specifically four cases. First there is the case of the missing dogs on Hampstead Heath and in North London. Secondly the serendipity of Donna seeing a long-lost friend from university, everywhere. Thirdly Richard’s case: his brother Martin has failed his first-year exams at medical school. Fourthly, finally, Harry’s case: his stepdad’s change in behaviour and the new friends he has found is worrying him.

    Like any other teenager Edie must also juggle school, homework and friendship issues when her detective work makes her less attentive towards best friend, Lizzie as well as family commitments. This seems to be culminating for her at home as she prepares for her Bat Mitzvah, a year later than normal after her mother’s murder. Outside Chance, however, wouldn’t be the second book in Anthony Kessel’s incredible Don’t Doubt the Rainbow series unless there was great personal risk to Edie, her family or her most loved guinea pig, Günther. All the clues – Anthony cleverly includes a number of apparently missed clues that Edie does not immediately follow up – lead Edie to a terrifying possibility of an act of terrorism, but she does not know when or where. It is now just a question of when Edie will call the Police.

  19. A brilliant book! I loved Edie and the adventures she gets into – fantastically described by Anthony Kessel. Overall, a whirlwind of mystery, excitement and suspense.

    This was an amazing book that I loved! Even though I hadn't read the first one (I definitely will after reading this one) from the very start I was hooked and needed to read on. The characters, plot and style of writing were brilliant. Our main character Edie finds herself in a sudden tangle of mystery and chaos! The plot is really engaging and exciting with lots of twists and turns as well as being understandable!

  20. A brilliant second part to Edie’s adventures. I think I got more wrapped up in this one than the first.

    It’s great to be back with Edie and her family.

    She’s grown up a bit and now has a little babysitting job as well as her detective agency work. She seems to have quite a few cases on the go, some more serious than others.

    I do like the green message in this book, I love the sound of her friend’s house and all the things his dad has done to make it as green as possible and it’s made me want to do more than I already do.

    This story has more of Edie's friends in it and she recruits them to help her solve one of her cases – missing dogs.

  21. Outside Chance, the second book in the Don't Doubt The Rainbow series by Anthony Kessel, is a cracking read! Fast-paced and page-turning, I read it in a couple of sittings whilst on holiday and it was the perfect mystery to enjoy at the beach. That said, it would be a good read for any time of year and I enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series.

    Again, the story centres around Edie, the main character, an award-winning teen detective. Her character and that of her family and friends are developed further and in Outside Chance I found Edie to be softer, more thoughtful perhaps and reflective in this story. Once again, the intrigue is layered while Edie balances her family life, school and her multiple detective cases. The outcome is not obvious as you read and there were at least three surprises at the end that I didn't anticipate. Nevertheless, all the loose threads were satisfyingly resolved.

    The author weaves detective strategy and psychological theories into the story and the school-based course for well-being and resilience sounded so good I wish it was available for all students. I will definitely recommend this book to all my secondary students and eagerly await the next one in the series.

  22. Set after the events of The Five Clues, Edie is trying to keep a lot of plates spinning. Her detective business is ever growing with many people asking her to follow up various mysteries: first there is the case of the missing dogs, then there is the bizarre behaviour of one of her school friends’ dad, and then there is her neighbour who also needs a helping hand and her best friend also seems to throw a spanner in the works. Edie is also preparing for her Bar Mitzvah as well as balancing her schoolwork and judo... How much can one girl cope with?

    Edie is a strong and complicated character who has very real teen struggles, but she has an old head on young shoulders which make her mature and thoughtful (but also prone to the many pitfalls of trying to do too much all at once). She has grown up a little since the last book and we, the readers, are treated to her changes and development as a detective, a student and also as a daughter.

    Kessel seamlessly weaves in some quite complex themes into this book: the environment and climate change, the Principles of Mind, Jewish theology and the ideas of fatalism and determinism. Kessel makes these themes accessible to all and will want to make readers explore these issues and thoughts more deeply (just as Edie does).

    I really loved this second instalment in the Don't Doubt the Rainbow series as I can guarantee that, 1. you won't put it down until you finish it and 2. that you get sucked straight into a world of mysteries (that are believable and so well thought-out). This brings a mystery story to the next level ­– and, with the promise of two more books to follow in the near future, you can bet anything that I will be recommending this book to everyone!

    Compassionate, compulsive and complex – a cracking read for those aged 11+.

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