Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

We don't mind doing things in entirely the wrong order, so here we are delving into Book one of the awesome "Violet" series with "Violet and the Pearl of the Orient" by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor.

Violet Remy-Robinson and her cat Pudding (short for Sticky Toffee Pudding) live in a rather lovely house overlooking a shared space where all the children love to play (and, ahem, a certain madam likes to get into trouble climbing trees she shouldn't be climbing).

The community is joined by new neighbours, a haughty pair of duplicitous (hehe) ne-er do wells and their daughter whose nose-in-the-air attitude masks a rather more sinister agenda.

Violet's beloved neighbour, a faded Hollywood starlet with the racy name of Dee Dee Derota often entertains Violet with tea and cakes, and the most wonderful stories of her acting life. But Dee Dee's prized heirloom has been stolen - the fabulous (and ridiculously valuable) Pearl of the Orient.

Can Violet (with a little help from her best friend Rose) piece together the clues and catch the criminals?

We've been thoroughly impressed with this series, featuring a smart girl detective and a whole plethora of fascinating characters. Charlotte loves the idea that a girl not much older than her could actually be a super-sleuth and solve crimes with just her brain and not a smidge of a super-power in sight.

We also both loved the way the story barely catches breath with fast-paced action, page-turning cliffhangers and moments of delicious suspense and of course some fabulous inline illustrations from one of our tweet-faves Becka Moor, who just completely nails the characterisations of everyone involved (and their favourite foods - which of course say a lot about a person, don'tcha know!)

We'll be catching up with Violet's brand new adventure - "Violet and the Smugglers" very very soon indeed. We really can't wait!