I was left feeling bereft after finishing Leonard’s fabulous Beetle Boy trilogy so was extremely excited to see that she was embarking on a new series of books with friend, Sam Sedgman. Let me introduce the first instalment of the new Adventures on Trains series: The Highland Falcon Thief.
When Harrison Beck (or ‘Hal’ to his friends) is bundled off with his travel-writer uncle for the holidays, he is less than impressed. He may be one of the passengers on the last ever journey of the royal train, The Highland Falcon, but Hal couldn’t imagine the long, slow journey to Scotland being anything but boring.
However, as the train winds its way northwards, it soon becomes apparent that a jewel thief is aboard the train. A priceless brooch is stolen, among other things, and Hal is determined to uncover the culprit. What with hidden stowaways, secret notes and secret rooms, Hal is going to have his work cut out!
This story had a really classic feel to it. Maybe it was the gorgeous steam train setting or the stolen jewels, but I was reminded of Murder on the Orient Express (without the murder!). It certainly gave me a yearning to take an overnight trip on a steam train to a beautiful countryside location.
There were just enough red herrings, twists and turns and false accusations to keep me guessing right to the very end. Leonard and Sedgman have woven a magical story perfect for amateur sleuths or budding investigative reporters. You’d be mad not to charge full steam ahead into Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for February!
*Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for sending me this title to review*