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Maisie Hitchins lives with her Gran in a lodging house in Victorian London. She longs to be a detective and looks up to the famous sleuth Gilbert Carrington and his faithful assistant Major Edward Lamb, longing to emulate their deeds. In this first book in the series, Maisie finds a little puppy, Eddie, who has been thrown into the canal. Taking him home, Maisie tries to hide her new pet and discover what kind of person tried to drown the little puppy. When Eddie snatches some sausages from the butcher's boy, George, she is grateful for his kindness - so when she learns that he has been sacked for stealing, she is sure he is innocent and sets out to clear his name. That gives her two mysteries to solve, so both puppy and mistress are happy.

This is the first in a series of books about Maisie and introduces a lot of fun characters. There is Maisie's friend, Alice, who visits one of the lodgers for French lessons, the wonderfully eccentric Professor Tobin and all the other characters who inhabit both the lodging house and the butcher's shop where George worked. Maisie is an excellent detective, who is full of adventure and always tries her best to make things right. I bought this for my seven year old daughter and it is ideal for independent readers, who are ready to read slightly longer chapter books - probably best for the 7 - 9 age group. The next book in the series is Maisie Hitchins and the Case of the Vanishing Emerald.
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on 11 May 2013
Originally posted on Serendipity Reviews.
What a gorgeous book this was! This is the first book I've read by the author and I really wish I had bought more of her books for my girls when they were younger.

Maisie Hitchins is a strong willed young lady for that time period and I love her for it. She really is a gutsy little girl full of curiosity and strong morals. She isn't frightened to stand up for what she believes in during a time period where children were seen and not heard. She desperately wants to be a detective like Gilbert Carrington and convinces herself that she can solve crimes too. With the help of her newly rescued puppy, Eddie, she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery behind the missing coins which led to George, the butcher's assistant being sacked. She will stop at nothing to find out the truth and with the help of the lodgers in her grandmother's house she finds her own methods for sleuthing.

The lodgers staying at 31 Albion Street are a colourful bunch. In this story we get to meet the new lodger, Professor Tobin, who comes up with an ingenious idea to help save Eddie from the streets. We also spend time with the actress Miss Lane, who is a master of disguises, helping to turn Maisie into all sorts of characters who can fool the public, to find out the truth. I'm pretty sure we'll get to meet all the residents and spend more time with them as the series progresses.

This book was an utter delight. I loved the idea of a such a strong, female detective during Victorian times. She could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. The chapters are short, yet well paced. The writing easy to read and the inner child in me was happy to step back in time to Holly Webb's Victorian London.

You can't talk about this book without mentioning the gorgeous illustrations by Marion Lindsay. At the front of the book there is a picture of the grandmother's house as if it were cut in half. It is so detailed and pretty, I had to fight the urge to get my colouring pens out and colour it! I wouldn't be surprised if children will want to give them colour as they are absolutely stunning.

This is the first book in the series and I'm sure there will be many more to follow. An ideal series for the 7 to 9 year old market who enjoy a good mystery.
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on 10 May 2013
This is a detective book with a difference as the hero is a young girl called Maisie who is inspired by her hero the famous detective Gilbert Carrington. The story is a simple one in that Maisie has to solve the puzzle of the missing sixpence in order to help George the butcher's boy get his job back. It is set in Victorian London.
We loved this book as it was a great story, written well with lovely pen and ink style illustrations. It was also lovely to have a strong female character who was determined to be herself. A great example for all young girls.
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on 22 April 2013
My seven year old daughter and I read this book together. She was fascinated with the Victorian setting as she's studied Victorians last year. She also loved the detective element and tried to solve the mysteries alongside the main character, Maisie Hitchins. Having a puppy in the story made the book even more appealing as far as my daughter was concerned! The two mysteries in the book kept going until nearly the end. Definitely a book to interest children and get them thinking. I'd highly recommend it for girls aged at least 7 years.
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on 11 February 2014
Perfect for children who enjoy a more challenging narrative structure, and are interested in history. Bought for my daughter in year one when she was studying the Victorians, and there are lots of nice, incidental details which tell you quite a lot about life in the 19th century. She's a very confident reader, and was enjoying these books independently when she was just 6, but I think they are ideal for 6-8.
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on 30 May 2014
Wanted daughter to start reading something a liitle different from the usual animal based stories - this still has a dog in it, but the mystery aspect is something she hadn't read before. She struggles a little with some of the 'old-fashioned' words, but is enjoying Maisie and has requested more in the series
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on 2 April 2015
Having struggled to get my 8 year old daughter to get 'in to' reading we tried this as she won it at school on world book day. It was a great success she loves the relationship between Maisie and Eddie and the mystery really sparked her imagination to the point where she was 'asking' to read!! It exposes them to lots of new words and meanings challenging their understanding and comprehension which was an added bonus!! We have just ordered 3 more in the series for her birthday so looking forward to more reading over easter!! :)
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on 26 February 2014
Holly Webb is now on book 4 of the Maisie Hitchins series and all of them are great. Beautifully illustrated. This is the first book in the series.

Stories are set in Victorian London and main character is a young girl called Maisie Hitchins who would like to be like the great detective of the day (think Sherlock Holmes). They're great whodunnits. Perfect for girls circa 7-9 years.
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on 6 October 2013
I just loved this book! The characters are wonderful, and I love the story of Maisie being a detective and solving the mystery. The illustrations are also lovely. My 6 year old son also enjoyed this book, and asked for the next one in the series. My only criticism is that some of the sentences are a little too complicated for young children.
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on 2 May 2016
I really like this book I am not the best reader so you can understand I don't want to read often but I rad this 6 times

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