Author: Harriet Whitehorn
Illustrated by: Becka Moor
Release Date: 2014
Genre: friendship, mystery, British literature
My Rating: **
Official Rating: Childrens to middle grade fiction
Age Group: 8+
Violet Remy-Robinson and her best friend Rose have a good life. They like to play in the garden (Violet is a very good climber), visit the eccentric neighbor lady Dee Dee (she's from America), care for their cats, and they go to a nice school.
Then the Du Plicitous family moves in. Isabella is rude, and so are her parents. Dee Dee starts having trouble with them as her new landlords. Then one day Dee Dee's most valuable possession, the Pearl of the Orient, goes missing. Violet and Rose don't think the whole thing is being handled properly, and they set out to solve the mystery themselves. Now if they could just get someone to take them seriously....
Word of Warning
- The Du Plicitous family is very very rude.
- Violet and Rose hatch several plans to escape from school. Eventually they do (but there are consequences).
- Violet's parents like a good cocktail, or so we're told. There are several other drinks mentioned as well, and Violet is given a small amount in her own glass. Still, there is no drunkenness or anything I'd be worried about.
- Violet disobeys her mother and climbs a tree she was told not to climb.
I picked it up looking for a book to bring home to my younger sister--and because of the illustrations. They're fun, but my favorite part was how they interacted with the text. They didn't just give more detail to the text, making it easier to picture. They were part of the text, and often it was necessary to look at them closely in order to understand the story. It was fun.
The reason there are no more stars than there are is because nothing about this book stood out to me. It was good, and I will be gifting it after all, but it didn't do anything (aside from the pictures) to stand out above any other mystery novel written for this age group.
Still, it's a fun and fast read, and it has enough British English vocabulary in it to keep an American on her toes. Plus, the eccentric American woman was too funny.