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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wilma Tenderfoot is an orphaned girl who lives on Cooper Island in the Lowside Institute for Woeful Children. She dreams of escape and of becoming the apprentice of the detective Theodore P. Goodman, whose every case she slavishly follows in the newspaper.

Her chance comes when she is sent to skivvy for an eccentric old woman who happens to live next door to Theodore P. Goodman himself. In her enthusiasm to help him solve the mystery of the Frozen Hearts she becomes mixed up in all kinds of off the wall and highly dangerous escapades.

Wilma is an appealing heroine and the book is an amusing cross between Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' series, in which terrible things happen in a witty manner to resourceful children, complete with dictionary definitions of complex ideas and words, and Sherlock Holmes.

There is a lot of very daft humour in this book, such as people with intensely smelly feet, people who wish to name jewels after pickled onions and size obsessed evil villains, which means it will appeal to children hugely and make them laugh out loud. And enough gruesome moments with autopsies, death by poisoned blow pipes and buckets of brains to make them shiver deliciously. I look forward to the next in the series.
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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read this book with my 9 year old daughter. We both enjoyed it and she tells me she can't wait for the next one, so brownie points for me with this choice. Personally I found it fun to read, as other reviewers have said - a tad reminiscent of Lemony Snickets' 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' but still its' own book. I haven't anything else by the author but on the strength of this book I'll be getting more from her to read with my youngest. Good Fun.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ten year old orphan Wilma Tenderfoot wants to be a detective, and she has all the right traits, being funny, feisty, cheeky, charming and, above all, determined. Wilma lives in the Lowside Institute for Woeful Children, supposedly being looked after by the unpleasant Mrs. Waldock of Howling Hall. Wilma discovers that her new next-door neighbor is the renowned detective Theodore P. Goodman, and he has a new case. Wilma wants to become Mr. Goodman's apprentice, and with the help of her beagle, Pickle, she makes deductions, follows leads, and scouts out suspects. She's sure she'll win the famous detective over and crack the case, as soon as Pickle stops eating the clues. There's murder, mystery and missing jewels, giving the book the air of a Poirot TV episode. My daughter, aged 16, enjoyed Frozen Hearts, although being older she did prefer the 'Young Sherlock Holmes' series of books. She thought the book would would suit 9 to 12 year olds, and that it was particularly girl friendly.

There's now a few books in the Wilma Tenderfoot series: Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts (published 2009), Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Putrid Poison (2010), Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Fatal Phantom (November 2010), and Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Rascal's Revenge (2011). They are aimed at kids aged 9+. Author Emma Kennedy is an actress and writer who has appeared in many award-winning comedy shows including Goodness Gracious Me and The Smoking Room, and she has written for 'Tracey Beaker' and 'Kerching' on CBBC.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a really entertaining read for children aged approx 8-12. The story rattles along at a great pace with lots of courageous acts, dastardly deeds and corn crumble biscuits. Set on a fictional old worldly island no one has bothered to discover it chronicles the exploits of tomboy 10 year old Wilma Tenderfoot, who is an orphan at the the Cooper Island Lowside Institute for Woeful Children, in her determination to become an apprentice under the tutelage of the renowned detective Theodore P. Goodman.
This book is excellent in the way it manages to explain a complicated plot and detective speak without being condescending. I think children will love the conspiratorial tone of the book with the author often addressing the reader. Wilma is a tenacious, brave hero who really throws herself into every situation. It is a very humorous read with clues to follow and a crime involving a stolen gem to solve. Add in the Annie style heartwrenching nature of an orphan and her dog being mistreated this book is perfect for younger readers. It should even catch the imagination of the most reluctant readers as the book is packed full of action and intrigue. The sentimentality of the orphan story isn't cringe worthy. It's very funny how Wilma has to attend to the awful tasks her 'owner' Mrs Waldock sets her like fishing for bogies and catching spiders for spider soup. Wilma bumblingly outwits the older characters in a very endearing way. The murders in the story aren't frightening with no gruesomeness to worry about and the overall tone of the book is wonderfully lighthearted.
Its not a book for adults but I really enjoyed it, especially the funny scenes where Wilma is at the border between the low and far side waiting to be let in by Trevor. The observations about bureaucracy are hilarious. I'm really hoping my daughter loves it too so I have an excuse for buying and reading the next one. There is a good cliffhanger at the end of this book which leaves you wanting to know more about Miss Tenderfoot.
Highly recommended for 8-12 year old girls.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Being a fully grown adult I didn't know how much I would like this book, but I found I absolutely loved it. Somewhere in the English Channel is Cooper Island, which seems to be populated by the vast majority of the world's eccentrics.

Wilma Tenderfoot has been in the island's orphanage since a very early age, and all she wants to do is become a detective like her hero, the island's Theodore P. Goodman, and then be able to find any living relatives and why she was dumped at the orphange. When Wilma is farmed out as a skivvy to Mrs Waldock her life takes a drastic turn. Mrs Waldock happens to live next door to Mr Goodman, and she tries to persuade him to take her on as an assistant. Mr Goodman finds himself pluged into a case when a priceless jewel goes missing and dead bodies start turning up. With Inspector Lemone of the official police and Mr Goodman (a kind of Sherlock Holmes) on the case they also have to deal with Wilma turning up all the time with Pickles the beagle that she has befriended. At only ten years of age Wilma may not be the cleverest detective but she makes up for it in sheer determination and gumption. Will the case of the frozen hearts be solved? How many people will be murdered? Will Theodore P. Goodman, or his nemesis, the arch villain (and very little) Barbu D'Anvers find the jewel and the thief/ killer? Will Wilma be able to stay out of the orpanage? Will Wilma ever find her parents, or become the assistant to Mr Goodman?

Read this fantastic book to find out, and also coming early next year, the next book in this new series,Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Putrid Poison will be available. Hopefully this series will continue for a long time to come and Wilma and Goodman will solve some great cases, and perhaps along the way find out more about where Wilma came from. This is a great, fun read for children and their parents.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wilma Tenderfoot is a bright 10 year old girl, determined to leave the orphanage where she lives, uncover the mystery of her parentage, and follow in the footsteps of her greatest hero; detective Theodore P Goodman.

When Wilma is sent to Miss Waldock's to work, she finds herself living next door to the man she so admires, and is soon by his side investigating a growing number of murders, the theft of a precious gem and dealing with the Criminal Elements of society

I liked the little oddities found throughout this story, and I'm sure the target audience of this book will love them. Wilma Tenderfoot is anything but, stomping her away into situations before learning the benefits of stealth. She lives on an island no one else can be bothered to explore, in an orphanage and under conditions that even little orphan Annie would crumble if faced with. Slug soup can be found on the menu, the tasks Wilma has to undertake for Mrs Waldock are decidedly unpleasant and the islanders involved in the several plots running throughout this book display a variety of wacky eccentricities.

Wilma is a delightful leading lady; bright, inventive and curious she is an independent 10 year old, but living in circumstances she is powerless to change. Her growing relationship with Goodman is sweet and funny as he learns how to deal with a little girl determined to leap in and aid his investigation, whilst the clues they uncover had me second guessing characters and making my own completely incorrect deductions. I'm slightly disappointed I received the proof copy, as the proposed illustrations of Wilma's clue board will be a nice visual aid, and the publisher's suggestions will definitely add depth to the story.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wonderfully written, well paced and full of excitement.Despite being a destitute Wilma manages to tag along with famous detective. It's her determination and troublesome nature which ultimately helps her assist in the solving of mystery. My daughter aged 12 enjoyed it much more than me and is eagely looking forward to another in the series
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ms Kennedy has produced a cleverly written and funny story filled with unusual characters in an strange land.

Cooper Island was almost discovered by Marco Polo but he was fed up with discovering things and wanted a day off so pretended he hadn't seen it!

And so the island developed in it's own way with there being two distinct sides. The Lowside which is grey and drab and the Farside which is clourful and prosperous.

Our heroine Wilma Tenderfoot lives at the Cooper Island Lowside Home for Woeful Children and her main ambition in life is be a detective like her hero the islands greatest detective Theodore P Goodman and to this end she is always trying to investigate things at the home.

When she is sent to be a servant to a Mrs Waldock on the Farside she cannot believe her luck when it turns out that Mrs Waldock's gloomy house is next door to the lovely Clarissa Cottage the home of one Theodore P Goodman.

As Wilma attempts to with the assistance of her new best friend Pickle the beagle help her hero solve a mysterious case of theft and murder she is sometimes unfortunately more hindering than helping him and Inspector Lemon with their investigations.

As the net closes in on the cuplrits and Wilma becomes a target for the evil thief things become even more exciting for Wilma and her friends.

This is a very good start to what promises to be a funny and clever series of books and well worth the read.
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on 3 November 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was sincerely looking forward to reading this children's novel; it had the makings of a great story for me. I'm an eager adult reader of children's fiction but this just didn't cut the mustard I'm afraid. There was something missing that didn't have me flipping through the pages desperate to know what happens to Wilma. I think it was the way the narrator had an annoying habit of speaking directly to the reader; sometimes this works but in this story it didn't.

The characters are lovely though; Emma Kennedy did a good job of really making the reader appreciate them, especially Theodore. The plot itself is good, I just feel it went on a little too long. It seems as though it would suit a good 8 or 9 year old but the size of the font etc seems more suited to a reader about 3 or 4 years older than that. Maybe I've missed out on so much because my proof copy still had editorial notes and all the illustrations missing but I just didn't feel the urge to continue into the next adventure with Wilma sadly.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My initial thoughts upon starting this book was, oh no, not another story about an orphan child whose lift at a gloomy run-down orphanage is one of hardship and loneliness and who dreams of one day finding the parents who abandoned her in a cardboard box - what a cliché! However, as I read further into the book, I found myself thoroughly caught up in Wilma's enthusiasm - Wilma, more than anything, wants to be an apprentice to the Island's greatest detective and sets out with great gusto to prove her worth by solving the theft of a precious gemstone. Clichés aside, this book is a funny and exciting read which I recommend to anyone who seeks a bit of light-hearted adventure. A good children's book but also great for the big kid in adults (I'm 39 years old!).
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