Children's Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mysteries are always a winner!

I'm not doing as many book reviews these days because I'm busy writing and illustrating my own book(s), not to mention the least-loved chore of moving house to a place where the light is so gorgeous for my art that the aches and bother of the move are worth it! However, I couldn't resist reviewing this book as I love Sherlock Holmes, tales from other eras, and yes, I'm an Anglophile having lived in London for 12 years. Also, who wouldn't want to be an assistant to Sherlock Holmes? You can by solving a case with young Imogene in the pages of this new book for middle grade wannabe whodunnits.

Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls

Imogene is a bright ten year old Victorian girl who dislikes piano lessons, hand-writing practice, and all the other arts that girls in the late Victorian era are expected to accomplish. She loves mysteries and avidly follows the cases of Sherlock Holmes in the newspapers. Her dreams of becoming a detective come true when Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson engage her as their assistant in solving the case of her mother’s missing pearls. Imogene keeps a diary of all her suspects, mostly household staff, especially her governess Miss Mullin who hides a secret in her sewing basket. She works hard at solving the mystery, but then she has to go visit her stuffy cousins in Staines for the weekend. How can she solve this mystery?

Elizabeth Varaden has crafted an excellent plot that pulls the young reader deep into the story, has them identifying with Imogene, and then examining each page for clues as they read. It is satisfying to know that the genre of mystery books for young people has expanded, including historical mysteries. It gives children more books to choose from and the opportunity to fall in love with reading, which becomes a life-long passion for many. It is recommended that every home and school library have copies of this book for readers 9 years through high school.


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