‘The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow’ by Katherine Woodfine is like a beautiful gift, wrapped up in shiny paper and decorated with a large satin bow. From the moment you enter Sinclair’s Department Store you know you are in a magical place of mystery, delights and wonder.
Our heroine Sophie finds herself orphaned and in desperate need and Sinclair’s appears to be her salvation, only things don’t turn out quite as she planned. Sophie manages to find herself a prime suspect in the theft of the famous Clockwork Sparrow and finds herself without a job and at threat of losing her home. It is up to her friends Lil and Billy to help her clear her name and solve the mystery of its disappearance. We find them drawn into a dangerous criminal world ruled by the seemingly illusive Baron and they find out there is a more than missing jewels at stake.
Katherine manages to conjure up this vivid world of contrasts between the darkness of the criminal gangs set against the opulence of the store, through her fantastically rich descriptions. You can imagine yourself gliding down the famous stairs, trying on the latest fashion and sampling delicious treats. We can also feel the genuine fear of the characters as they try to outwit and outmanoeuvre the real perpetrators. The characters Sophie, Lil and Billy are so daring and fearless you forget that they are still children and it moves a such a thrilling pace you are left breathless by the experience. It is full of twists, turns and surprises that you never know quite what is around the corner.
There is more to come from our heroines Sophie and Lil in the next instalment ‘The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth’ which is due to be released in March 2016. I really can’t wait to find out further adventures and intrigue they manage to get themselves involved in next time.