Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review: The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, #1)Title: The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow
Author: Katherine Woodfine
Series:  The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, #2
Pages:  320
Publisher: Egmont
Date of Publication: 4th June, 2015
Source: Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…


My Thoughts:
I borrowed The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow from the library on a whim when I was pretty sure I didn't have time to read it but because it has the most gorgeous cover I couldn't resist.  I don't read that much middle grade, but some of my favourites are A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis, and Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens - both historical with a feisty young female lead and both excellent, so this had a lot to live up to.  And it definitely did!   I quickly fell in love with the world of Sinclair's department store and the really great cast of characters, and I can heartily recommend it.

The blurb says 'enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and mysteries' and I cannot think of a better way to describe what it's like, reading about Sinclair's department store.  I absolutely loved it!  I loved reading about all the different sections of the store and the descriptions of what you can buy, and it's so easy to imagine all the colours, sights, and smells. It made the story so exciting and vivid, even before the real plot even begins.

And then when it does, you are thrown into the mystery surrounding the clockwork sparrow and why it is so rare, and most importantly, who could have stolen it and why.  There follows a romp through Edwardian London as Sophie and her gaggle of friends try to solve the mystery.  The plot is fast paced and very twisty and it kept me guessing until the end.

The novel has the best characters I've read in a little while.  I quickly fell in love with Sophie as she made friends with the unlikeliest of people in the store, the ones that everyone else looks over, and soon they form a tight little group of amateur crime solvers.  Lilian is particularly gutsy and fabulous!  All of the characters are fleshed out so well, and you even love to hate the baddies - including Edith, Sophie's nemesis on the shop floor.

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is not one to be missed.  Whether you like historical fiction, crime and mystery, or you just want a great story, then look no further than this because it is exactly what you are looking for.  Now I cannot wait to read book two, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth!

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