Top positive review
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An ideal series for the 7 to 9 year old market who enjoy a good mystery.
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.