Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maisie Hitchins - The Case of the Stolen Sixpence by Holly Webb and Marion Lindsay (Little Tiger Press / Stripes)

Maisie Hitchins - The Case of the Stolen Sixpence

Written by Holly Webb
Illustrated by Marion Lindsay

Published by Little Tiger Press (Stripes)

It's Maisie Hitchins Blog Tour Time! We've already introduced you to Holly Webb's brilliant new girl detective Maisie Hitchins. We scurried away with a copy of the first book and have been chipping away at it over the space of a week or so (we love reading chapter books but it does take us a wee while to get through them compared to picture books, I'm sure you'll understand!)

We've been drawn to Maisie Hitchins for so many reasons. Of course one of the main reasons is Holly's knack of coming up with scintillating characters and settings that just grab our attention (in this case, setting a girl detective story in victorian times is like catnip for Charlotte!)

We love the design and feel of the books, they're early chapter books but are lovingly illustrated throughout with awesome black and white drawings by Marion Lindsay.

Most of all though we're back to the writing - and the stories which are page-turningly addictive and have us clamouring for more now we've polished off the first.

So what happens in "Maisie Hitchins - The Case of the Stolen Sixpence"? We won't spoil things for you too much but of course as the first novel you're introduced to Maisie herself, who lives in a boarding house with her grandmother and a housemaid. Maisie thrills to the adventures of Gilbert Carrington, the famous detective as he solves huge complex cases in his own inimitable style. Maisie feels that they have a common link, a knack for observation and solving mysteries - and before long Maisie is drawn into a case (or two) of her very own.

At the start of this thrilling adventure, she meets her sidekick Eddie the puppy, who she rescues from a sack thrown into the canal. Maisie and Eddie become inseparable, and Maisie vows to solve the mystery of who would do such a cruel thing to a dear little wonky-eared puppy like Eddie.

But Maisie is soon drawn into another case, the titular "Case of the Stolen Sixpence" when a butcher boy who tussles with Eddie over a string of sausages, is wrongly accused of theft and sacked on the spot. Maisie feels guilty for George's dismissal and knows that he was not the guilty culprit. But she has to prove it!

To say that Charlotte is now Maisie's biggest fan is a bit of an understatement. Normally we struggle to engage with chapter books because my impatient little miss hasn't quite got used to the relatively longer experience of reading and reviewing chapter books. The ones that make it through our fine-meshed net though are the ones that she engages with from the very start, and that was definitely the case with this first Maisie Hitchins adventure.

As the story reaches a brilliant climax, we were already eyeing the two other Maisie Hitchins books that Stripes were kind enough to send us, and also wondering when the other books we haven't yet got were due to be published as we'll be picking them up as soon as they hit the shelves.

If your little girl or boy love a thrilling detective adventure, and love the idea of a girl detective series taking its cues from the brilliance of the Sherlock Holmes stories but setting out its table in a child-friendly and wholly immersive way, you really need to get to know Maisie Hitchins, we've a feeling you'll become huge fans like we already are.

Charlotte's best bit: There's a wonderfully bittersweet moment with Eddie and his mum that is Holly's favourite bit as well as Charlotte's. Have tissues ready!

Daddy's Favourite bit: The first book introduces a fabulous cast of characters and wraps you in the atmosphere of Victorian times, with many a mystery afoot. Love the subtle nods to Sherlock Holmes novels. A book that has really caught Charlotte's attention and spurred her imagination in wonderful ways. 

(Kindly sent to us for review by Little Tiger Press)

1 comment:

Beatnik Mary said...

Well you've more than convinced me!