Recently I read two delightful mysteries coming our way from England, thanks to the folks at Kane Miller. Read my review, and then enter to win both of them in my giveaway!
Set in Edwardian London, these titles are the first two in a series starring a couple of spunky young women, Sophie and Lil. We meet them in a glittering new department store as the story opens in…
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, written by Katherine Woodfine
American edition published in 2016 by Kane Miller; 313 pages
Sophie Taylor, age 14, is newly orphaned. Accustomed to living an elegant lifestyle with her papa, Sophie now must make her own way in the world. Landing a job at Mr. Sinclair’s posh new department store in London, working in the Millinery Department among “a riot of silk flowers, huge chiffon bows, frills of lace and nodding ostrich plumes” is a bright stroke of luck for her.
It’s at Sinclair’s that Sophie makes the acquaintance of Lil, a dramatic, dark-haired beauty who works as a “Captain’s Girl,” a living mannequin, modeling the rich gowns in the store’s dress shows. Although Lil has the looks of a goddess, she’s got the spirit and spunk of a brazen detective.
Which is just as well, because a priceless clockwork sparrow has been stolen from the store’s display, and it’s up to Lil and Sophie to track down the dastardly criminal responsible!
Their adventures continue in…
The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth (335 pages)
…in which the two girls, their compatriots Billy and Joe, and a brother and sister from London’s Chinatown, band together, mingle with high society, and attempt to infiltrate the deadliest criminal ring in London in order to spoil their plans for international sabotage. This story contains elements of Wilkie Collins’ Moonstone, always a good idea.
The meticulously-crafted settings for these books set them apart. Department stores sparkling with finery, debutantes’ tea parties, elegant manor houses, London theaters, Chinatown, and the seedy haunts of the criminal world, are described in luscious detail.
Fast-paced, with a bit of an old-fashioned sensibility in the dialogue in keeping with their Edwardian time period, these will make excellent reads especially for younger girls who zip through books like a hot knife in butter. Advanced readers as young as 9 could enjoy these, as well as middle-graders and up who are looking for a mystery-adventure that’s not overly-dark. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Best to read them in order as there is a carry-over element to the plot.
And…I’m giving my copies away!
If you’d like to win both of these mysteries– that’s one winner receiving both books — just comment here or better yet share this post on Facebook or Twitter (and let me know — I cannot identify your shares via Wordpress; you’ve got to give me a head’s up in the comment section so I can enter you) before next Wednesday, October 12. I’ll announce the winner a week from today. U.S. shipping addresses only, please.
And a word about independent booksellers:
Independent Booksellers Are Our Friends!
They’re the ones supplying and supporting the diversity of titles important to readers, writers, and artists.
As part of their commitment to these folks, Kane Miller does not sell their books to Amazon. Only copies from third-party sellers or foreign editions appear there.
Here are links for both titles where you can buy these great books!
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow
The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth
Yes please! I am a mystery fanatic and have 3 little girls to share my fanaticism with. Cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and have taken in my fair share of Christie, Stewart, Sayers, Dunnett, and co throughout the years.
I raise my monacle to your fanatacism 🙂
I am thrilled for this post! Thank you for enriching my life and my kid’s lives through your GREAT reviews. These might be books that require reading in costume! =0) Thank you for this post.
Thanks, Charity! Love the idea of reading in costume!
Please — I’m sorry for the inconvenience but if you share this post via FB or Twitter, I need you to comment here and let me know who you are. WordPress keeps you anonymous when you share my posts, which is a good thing, but not so good when you want to win books!
How fun to learn about these two new gems! Exciting! Would love to add these to my classroom library! -Jenny T-W.
Love learning about these two new gems! Would love to add them to my classroom library! Love your site and recommendations!-Jenny
Ooh, I think they would be popular in a classroom library!
These sound perfect for my niece!
Great! Thanks, Christie!
I am SO appreciative of ALL of your recommendations! My children and I have discovered so many fantastic books thanks to you. Please keep up the good work and know that you inspire my “request” list at my library every single week! These books look fantastic! We would love to read them and THEN donate them to our public school teacher’s classroom library! 🙂 THANKS for the giveaway!!!
So great to hear. Thanks, Kate. I love the idea of helping build up your local classroom library 🙂
My daughter has been wanting to read these!!! I’m so excited about this giveaway!!!
Terrific! I’m excited to pass them along!
These sound delicious — tea parties, London, Edwardian England, you say? Yes, please. 🙂
Yes, Jama! Lots of tea and cakes 🙂
Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to win these for my granddaughters.
You’re welcome! I love sharing these!
Shared on FB- these books look wonderful.
Great! Yes, I think they hit a sweet spot for many readers.
shared on facebook. these look fantastic. can’t wait to check them out with my girls! or read them for myself 🙂 lol
thanks for a wonderful blog. I love having a reliable resource for new books to read with my kids!!
Thanks, Lauren. Yes, I think children’s fiction titles are great reads for adults! Sometimes a little Edwardian mystery is just what the doctor ordered 🙂
Yay for your blog, Jill. Thank you for blessing me, I look forward to every title and your thoughts . . .
Thanks, Andrea, for the encouragement! Sharing good books makes me happy!
You are one of my favorite blogs to read and I wind up pinning/interlibrary loaning almost ALL of your book recommendations! We are a homeschooling family who loves books- and you have helped place many a book in the hands of my children. I also gave your website to our librarian who uses it to purchase books for the library whenever they have extra funds to do so. Thanks for all the work you do- and thank you for this giveaway!
Oh, thank you Rebecca! What an encouraging note! And thank you for lighting reading fires in your home and community!
Oooh I’d love to win these!😂
[…] by Katherine Woodfine, an author I’ve come to know through her fun Sinclair’s mystery series, these are fictionalized, sweet-as-plum-pudding accounts of historical, famous women . Sophie […]