Monday 3 February 2020

The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G Leonard and Sam Sedgman

Link: Highland Falcon Thief

Published by: 2020 Macmillan


Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

All aboard! Jump on quickly if you fancy a ride (and a read) full of thrilling adventure and mystery.
My love of children's literature means I am open to reading anything and everything. However, if you asked me what my preferred genre or ideal book is...this is it!
A classic sleuth novel set in a timeless setting.
My memories of watching Poirot with both sets of grandparents dates back to early childhood, when I was probably about six- curious but very easily scared! The tradition continued until I was well into my twenties and I still have a great love of detective mysteries today.
So, throw in a child-friendly but very clever plot, a gaggle of quirky characters and a pair of easy to like protagonists and you have a winner!
Harrison Beck is less than thrilled at the thought of taking a steam journey with his train fanatic uncle. But jumping aboard the Highland Falcon takes him on an adventure he never imagined. After meeting stowaway and steam train enthusiast, Lenny, he begins to see his surrounding with new eyes. And when they discover an infamous jewel thief is aboard, Harrison, Lenny and his beloved sketchbook have less than four days to solve the case!
This novel combines a passion for two things; trains and mysteries. Although, I know nothing about trains, the authors draw you into the rich and detailed world of the railways through absorbing and irresistible descriptions. This provides the perfect setting for an all out chuffing adventure which instantly captures the imagination.
The book contains much of the 'Poirot' charm. Elegant characters, an easy-going pace and friendly tone. I particularly liked the dynamics between Hal and his Uncle Nat. It was wonderfully refreshing to have an accompanying adult in the story who was encouraging, supportive and casual rather than oppressive. As a result Hal unfolded as an easily likeable and sparky boy, who had worries without being too troubled. This light touch made the story trundle along happily - picking up pace towards the end and rattling towards a breath-taking, high-stake finish.
I can see the 'Adventures on Trains' series quickly achieving the same success as M.G Leonard's 'Beetle Boy' trilogy- my best read of 2018. With a sneak preview of Book 2 in the Waterstones Exclusive Edition, I cannot wait for 'Kidnap of the California Comet.'
(The Waterstones Exclusive Edition also includes extra sketches from the wonderful Elisa Paganelli and adds an extra dimension to what is already a fantastic read!)

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