Lil and Sophie are back in another thrilling adventure in Katherine Woodfine’s ‘The Painted Dragon.’ I was ridiculously excited to spot an early copy in my local bookshop having had to wait a whole year for the next instalment in the marvellous Sinclair Mysteries. I can definitely confirm that it is absolutely worth the wait With an opening chapter that leaves you feeling like a nervous wreck you know that you’re in for a treat. Less dark and menacing than ‘The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth,’ this feels like a more complex story which hides many layers of secrets waiting to be discovered by our intrepid heroines.
Mr Sinclair in his endeavour to make Sinclairs the most glamorous and sophisticated department store invites London’s rich and famous to visit an exhibition featuring priceless paintings including the King’s very own ‘The Green Dragon.’ But on the morning of the gala evening a terrible crime is uncovered. The King’s painting has been stolen from a room that was locked, but this is something much more complicated than a locked room mystery. Once again Lil and Sophie find themselves caught up in an elaborate plot and faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides. Will they be able to unmask the true villain and prove that they are detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what danger lies ahead.
Katherine has succeeded once again in creating an intricate mystery waiting to be unravelled, whilst giving the reader a real insight into the inequalities in Edwardian society. She introduces us to Leo, whose wealthy parents don’t know what to do with her because she has a disability. A daughter like that, couldn’t possible have a London Season and what do with her so that she isn’t seen by society. Fortunately Leo manages to escape the confines of her home and finds herself crossing path with our heroines when she is identified as the last person to see ‘The Green Dragon’ and she becomes inextricably wrapped up in their perilous adventure. Assembling characters new and old the story builds to a thrilling climax as our splendid duo will stop at nothing to expose the thief. Wonderfully dramatic and tense, this is a truly marvellous tale that will leave you wanting more.