Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner

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Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner

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Buy Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: The second in this magical series by Sally Gardner this delightful story lives up to the promise of the first book. With an appealing and charming heroine supported by a cast of wonderful characters, this story should be popular with newly independent readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444003734

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Emily Vole and the rest of the team at Wings and Co Fairy Detective Agency are worried. They have been open for five months and have not had a single case to solve. Then Sir Walter Cross dies in strange circumstances; shooting into the sky in a cloud of purple smoke before falling to his death. Shortly afterwards they receive more tales of bad luck and disaster from Mr. Rollo the tailor and the Smith family who have been preparing for their daughter Pandora’s wedding. Suddenly Emily, the Fairy Detectives and of course, the remarkable talking cat, Fidget, find themselves with not one but three cases to solve. Are Wings and Co. up to the task? Of course they are!

Emily and her team of detectives are joined not only by the magic keys and lamp from the first story but this time by a fairy with a difference, Lettice Lovage. She is not pink and silly as fairies are depicted in the media but sports a grey pony tail and an apron over her trousers and top. It is not long until the suspects are narrowed down to the hapless Elvis the Elf but could the wicked goblin, Toff the Terrible be involved too? Amidst the exciting adventure we learn that humans were never happy with one wish. They always wanted more... and it is this greed that partly causes the disasters that Wings and Co has to rectify. A rather grumpy and unpleasant character also develops during the story into a much more cooperative and likeable person and is suitably rewarded. These are good lessons for young readers to learn and this also opens up the possibility of discussion with parents or teachers too.

Sally Gardner successfully combines magic and a touch of fairy tale with a contemporary feel in this charming adventure story. The story moves at a fast pace but for me the delightful characters are the most enjoyable aspect of the book. I particularly like Fidget the cat who is funny, wise, kind and a tower of strength to Emily. Young readers will probably like Emily too; she is practical and determined but yet still appealing. The quirky illustrations by David Roberts are very much a part of the success of this book fitting the style of the story perfectly and bringing the characters to life.

The short chapters and the many illustrations ensure that the book will appeal to newly independent readers but the use of language, wit, catchphrases and world play mean that this story would work well read aloud too. Emily and her gang are great fun and this series deserves to be a success.

If you have not read the first in the series then please try Operation Bunny as this explains how Emily Vole came to own this special detective agency and became friends with the characters.

Sally Gardner's Wings and Co Books in Chronological Order

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Buy Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Three Pickled Herrings (Wings and Co 2) by Sally Gardner at Amazon.com.

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