Katherine Woodfine's bestselling debut novel. A fast-paced historical mystery adventure for readers aged 9+, with gorgeous Edwardian period detail. Perfect for fans of Enid Blyton, Chris Riddell's Goth Girl and Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike series.
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 villains to justice…
Left penniless when her father dies, Sophie is pleased to find a job in the millinery department of 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 of the clockwork sparrow. Her friend's Lil and Billy help her to solve the crime.
I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend that you read it, especially if you are looking for strong female role models. Sophie Turner has had quite a life in regards to fate and fortune but she never gives up and is an intelligent and resourceful heroine who goes against social norms to do the right thing. She is aided by her friend, society beauty Lilian Rose, who exudes a passion for life and who also bucks the social expectations of others. Both do this with great grace and style.
They are supported in this tale by a range of well developed characters, from true friends, colleagues, police and villains, all who play their part in moving the mystery along at a good pace with great attention to detail. The descriptions of the grandeur of Sinclair's department store to the cold, dark horrors of its basement really do draw you in. The plot has a few well chosen twists and turns, some unexpected and the story has a particularly positive, empowering ending that leaves the reader wondering as to what path Sophie will take next.