Thursday, 11 February 2016
Nancy Parker's Diary of Detection by Julia Lee - Review!
I was really pleased to receive a proof copy of this book from OUP for review as I am always on the lookout for something a bit different and this is certainly a hugely original book!
Our introduction to Nancy comes through the form of her journal which begins as she turns fourteen years old and leaves school to find work. It's an immediately appealing voice, honest and engaging and we follow Nancy being hired as a house maid by the intriguing Mrs Bryce and their subsequent move to a seaside resort for the summer.
We're introduced to two further characters - curious, clever Ella Otter and daydreaming, bumbling Quentin Ives - and the book revolves around their three inter linking storylines.
It's an utterly charming read and I loved never knowing exactly what was going to happen next! It kept me guessing throughout as there are several possible mysteries that our protagonists are investigating and the plot moves along at a cracking pace.
I really enjoyed the historical aspect and setting the book in the 1920's adds a real charm to the storyline without ever being heavy handed or overdone.
All of the characters are very well drawn and despite several storylines, voices and storytelling devices I never felt confused. Julia Lee holds the reins of this tale in expert hands and there's a real confidence in the mystery genre on show.
It's a perfect read for any children who enjoy mysteries and adventure and it steers clear from anything too disturbing or gory. Budding detectives will love this tale and I'm sure be entirely captivated by it's rousing heroine Nancy Parker.
I felt this could do really well as a series and I hope we see much more of these engaging characters in further tales.