In case you missed it, last week my blog had a special birthday it was five years old. One of the first books I reviewed on my blog was by a debut author called Katherine Woodfine whose book introduced us to orphan Sophie and sophisticated Lil, two girls who accidentally found themselves embroiled in, ‘The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.’ Fast forward five years and this dynamic duo have had four ‘Sinclair Mysteries,’ and when that series sadly came to a close, luckily a whole brand new series, ‘Taylor and Rose Secret Agent’s,’ was born. Last year in a shocking turn of events Katherine left the second book in the series, ‘Spies in St. Petersburg,’ at a criminally, cliffhanger of an ending which left the reader eager to know what happened next. So I was absolutely thrilled to receive an early copy of, ‘Villains in Venice,’ the next instalment in this thrilling espionage series.
Sophie and Lil have been given another new mission by the Secret Bureau but for the first time they are at odds, both convinced that their way to right the wrongs against their friend is the only possible route. With a double agent on the loose, Sophie and Lil don’t know who they can trust and an undercover mission is planned to Venice to see if they can uncover the final piece of the puzzle before their enemies get their dastardly hands on it. Nothing is as it seems, with unexpected twists and turns being sprung on them at every turn. Venice is a dark and dangerous place and someone unexpected is lurking in the shadows determined to thwart their plans. Can our heroines unravel the truth and prevent a terrible catastrophe?
This story is an absolute triumph from start to finish, I raced through the whole book with my heart in my mouth and my nerves totally shredded. Quite a few times I had to stop, close the book and take a deep breath as I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It has to be one of the most delectable and thrilling of Katherine’s mysteries. Superbly plotted with the most intricate of puzzles spun throughout this story, it is a joy of a read. Once again she excels in transporting the reader – through her wonderfully descriptive writing – to the setting, stimulating all your senses and making you feel like you’re actually there watching the story unfold. She has captured all the haunting beauty of Venice and contrasted this against the darkness of the sinister organisation who are determined to seize power for their own malevolent purposes. I particularly liked how she used the carnival that Venice is famous for as a device to heighten the fear and distrust the characters feel and fill the reader with suspense as they try to guess who can be trusted especially when you can’t see face behind the mask. If you are looking for a daring and dramatic adventure then this book is pure perfection, it completely excelled my expectations. I couldn’t possibly review this book without mentioning the incomparable illustrator Karl James Mountford whose exquisite cover and beautiful interior illustrations complement marvellously Katherine’s writing. I only have one complaint and that is the complaint of an impatient reader who can’t quite believe that once again Katherine has delivered an incredibly climatic ending that left me anxious for more.
Thank you to Egmont books for sending me an early gifted of this magnificent book. ‘Villains in Venice,’ is released on August 6th and is available to pre-order online or from your local bookshop. If you can please support your local indie bookshop.