Age(s): 10-14 years
Size: 5 x 7 3/4
Series: The Sinclair's Mysteries
Author: Katherine Woodfine
This detective series is set in an Edwardian department store owned by an enigmatic New York millionaire. The adventure begins with the theft of the priceless clockwork sparrow! It's up to fast friends and bold heroines, Miss Sophie and Miss Lilian, to crack codes, devour iced buns and bring the villains to justice...
Left penniless when her father dies, Sophie is pleased to find a job at Sinclair's, soon to be London's largest and most glamorous department store. There, she makes friends with Billy a junior porter and beautiful Lil, who is one of the department store "manikins" by day and an aspiring actress by night.
Just before the store is due to open, there is a daring burglary, including the theft of the priceless clockwork sparrow. When Sophie herself becomes a suspect, the only solution is to solve the mystery with the help of Lil and Billy.
About the Author:
Katherine Woodfine is a British children's author living in London. Woodfine is the former Arts Project Manager at Booktrust where she project-managed the Children's Laureateship and worked on other children's book prizes and initiatives, including YALC 2014, the UK's first Young Adult Literature Convention. She has reviewed and recommended children's titles online, in print and on the radio as part of the founding team at Down the Rabbit Hole, a monthly radio show that discussing children's literature.
I typically read books before I allow my children to read! I decided to try this one out! Once I sat down to read, I did not want to stop! It is set in the early 1900's at a lavish department store. All of the details help the reader immerse themselves in the daily life of London! The mystery was exciting, while you can't help but enjoy the characters!!
A great read!
This book was so exciting to read! The characters were great, and there were well-written twists and turns of the plot that kept you on the edge of your seat. Definitely recommended for young teens and anyone who enjoys a good mystery!
Great read for both teens and adults!
It's well-written, and I thorougly enjoyed the storyline. It was layered enough that it didn't feel too "young" but not so mature that young teens couldn't get into the story. The 4 main characters were well-rounded, interesting, and each presented a vital part to the story. Most of the characters seemed older than their given age (Sophie is 14, but seems closer to 20), some of this could be ascribed to the era in which it is written. Descriptions were great and interesting and the author did a great job with setting and era.
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.
Historical Novel Review, Issue 79
Sophie is a courageous heroine, and Lil and Billy are plucky, lovable sidekicks. The glamor of the fictional Sinclair's department store is beautifully presented, as are other setting details, bringing to life early 1900s London, when large department stores were new and exciting. … Recommended.