Friday, 17 April 2015
Violet and the Pearl of the Orient, by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor. Reviewed by Saviour Pirotta
Publication date: 12th February 2015
Illustrated by Becka Moor
I have to admit that I bought this book, Whitehorn's debut, because it was part of Waterstone's 'Buy one get one half price' promotion, and because I was quite taken by its 1950s pastiche cover. I fell in love with Violet, its feisty main character and her sidekick, the demure Rose right away.
Here's the perfect whodunnit with a cast of characters straight out of a delicious pantomime. The baddies are truly bad, ruthless and conceited, the goodies my kind of people - sincere, literate and posessing great taste. My favourite has to be the camp, fading Hollywood starlet called Dee Dee Derota who talks like Blanche out of The Golden Girls.
I should imagine most 6 to 8 year olds at whom this book is a targeted would have never read a detective story before. This would make the ideal introduction to the genre, complete with clues, red herrings and an ineffectual policeman.
I won't spoil the plot by saying too much about it. Suffice it to say the crime involves the theft of a rare and precious jewel.
The language is simple and pacey, perfect for bedtime or a holiday read on the beach. Becka Moor's colour illustrations and doodles enhance the experience. Can't wait to start on the second book of the series: Harriet and the Hidden Treasure.
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Posted by Saviour Pirotta at 06:30 Permalink