Review published on June 7, 2018.
A school story with books as the focus. Mystery and lots of genre staples, a feel of the modern and the nostalgic.
In the grand tradition of Blyton, Trebizon, even Harry Potter, the great ‘school story’ genre staples… we now have a mystery with the boarding school library at the heart of it (as Hermione herself would be proud).
I’ve read Shelton before and liked him, though this is wildly different. The first in a series, as Daphne arrives at her new school and interviews to become the library assistant… actually no, the library assistant’s ASSISTANT. Her boss is Emily Lime, a supremely bossy student in a rather unusual school, a little like a junior St Trinian’s, where pupils get up to all sorts at all hours. And it’s into this setting that a mystery is mixed, one in which the smart Daphne will have to work with overbearing Emily.
I’d only just finished another children in a mystery story (set in a hotel) when starting this, so they did feel a little interchangeable at times, though I loved the fact that books and libraries were the solutions (as well as the clues) to the plots. Daphne is likeable, though didn’t stand out particular, Emily Lime is more memorable and didn’t annoy too much as I wondered about at the start.
Great school setting, a very unique establishment that I’d love to see more of, even from the perspectives of different students.
I listened to the Audible version of this, which moved along nicely and would be enjoyed by listeners around 9-12. It should keep their attention.
Katy Noyes 4/2
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