Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Lyn Gardner - Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret - Book Review (Nosy Crow)


Murder, mystery and musical thrills in the shadowy streets of Victorian London in this new series from Lyn Gardner. This is historical fiction with a popular twist: murders and mysteries set in the glitzy world of the Victorian music hall which will appeal to fans of Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather but with added detective drama!Rose was left by her mother at the door of Campion's Palace of Variety and Wonders as a baby. It is her home, and she loves it, but she never stops wondering who she really is. When murder threatens to destroy the music hall, Rose will need all her performance skills to crack the crime and delve into a murky past of blackmail, subterfuge and abduction...

You only need to skip and dance through the first page before you find yourself straight into a dark narrative not for the feint of heart. You'll be ceremoniously whipped into a murderous storm as you visit Easingford Hall. The plot is a dark maelstrom of treachery, seen through even darker eyes than the devil himself, the new Lord of Easingford, Henry Edgar Easingford. He will stop at nothing to claim the title and wealth that he so desires. The Stolen Secret is a cracking start to a new series from the author of the Olivia books and theatre critic from the Guardian. 

This is a brilliant story that you will really struggle to put down. It is complex and cunning like the characters themselves. You will easily take to Rose Campion, as she is very determined, lively and head strong, but she has a heart of solid gold. You first meet Rose escaping from the top floor window of Miss Pecksniff's Academy for Young Ladies. Shinning down the drainpipe, Rose will hurtle you into a non-stop adventure of danger, discovery, a world full of crime, colourful characters and MURDER.

This book reminded me of the fantastic times that I spent reading Julia Golding's Cat Royal series. In my opinion it is equally enchanting and holds many similarities. It's a historical snapshot of Victorian London with a fantastic theatrical flourish that oozes period charm. When a brilliant young actor goes missing, Rose and her friends from the music hall get on the case and try to solve the mystery afoot. The music hall is a fantastic place to visit, it's almost a character in itself. It superglues the narrative to engaging heights resulting in a brilliant and captivating read.

The story is a fantastic and dramatic mystery that will sweep the curtains down on your fantasy feet as you flit along the dark and deadly squalor of Victorian streets. You need to make sure that you do not find yourself being pick-pocketed in the process. It's full of shady villains found lurking down the poverty stricken alleyways. However, some humour can be seen through the horror - it will leave you thinking about the possible outcomes and lighten the intentions for any younger readers. Will Rose Campion and her acting friends get to the final act? Will they fail to work out the solution to the biggest mystery in London? Roll up and find out...

This is another great read from Nosy Crow, a publisher on the rise picking a range of fantastic books and bringing them to the world for readers to enjoy. It is a great start to the series; I will certainly be looking out for the next instalment. Out now.... so what are you waiting for?

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