A Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Hidden City by Joan Lennon
|A Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Hidden City by Joan Lennon|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Slightly Jones, Victorian girl detective, has set sail for France for her fourth thrilling adventure. A secret organisation called the Hidden City has kidnapped an artist's muse, and there are rumours of further skulduggery in the Louvre . . .|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 176||Date: July 2013|
|Publisher: Catnip Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Miss Slightly Jones is a thoroughly likeable young person. She is courageous and determined (although her Granny Tonic, who adopted her when her parents died, might use other, less charitable words like foolhardy, impulsive and stubborn) and her quick wit enables her to get out of many a difficult situation. Her hero, needless to say, is the celebrated Sherlock Holmes, and she often seeks inspiration from his cases when she is unable to decide what to do next.
Mr Westerly, one of the motley band of lodgers at Limpopo House where Granny and Slightly reside, has received a desperate plea for help from a fellow artist in Paris. The ransom note Mr March received instructed him not to contact the police, but surely no one would be suspicious of an old friend from London with his charming and somewhat nosy young companion? Mr March is in despair as he is sure he will never be able to raise the money demanded in time to ensure the safe return of Maria, and without his striking redheaded model and muse, he feels he can never be anything in future but a mere society portraitist.
Paris in the 1890s was a fascinating place, full of vigour, invention and creativity. The Eiffel Tower dominated the landscape (much to the dismay of many people, who considered it an eyesore), tourists from across the globe flocked to see the wonders of the Louvre, and the city, both above and below ground, was in the process of becoming the well-ordered metropolis we know today. Haussmann was busy clearing slum dwellings to build wide, elegant avenues, and beneath the city streets the poor (including those evicted by the energetic Baron) and the dead lived side by side in the sewers and catacombs. We see all the wonders and beauties of this dramatic and romantic capital through the eyes of our heroine, and although the author is careful not to weigh the story down with excessive information, we are given enough detail to clearly imagine the scene. We visit artists' studios and the homes of the rich, we wander into the Louvre to admire the Mona Lisa and the recently acquired Winged Victory, and we thrill at the confusion of glass, steel and steam which is the Gare du Nord. Readers who have visited Paris will recognise many of the scenes described in this book, which are still very much a part of its charm, and those who have not will soon be saving up their pocket money for a cross-Channel trip.
Paris is a very definite character in its own right in this book, but wonderful though the city is, it has nothing on the delightful Slightly. Her bright enquiring mind and her keen eye for detail allow her to make connections and discover the truths criminals would prefer to leave hidden, and even in moments of dark and deadly peril she never gives up trying. She is a heroine readers could easily imagine having as a friend, and it is to be hoped that Ms Lennon can be persuaded to give us more of her adventures very soon!
If you haven't met Slightly before you will want to read her earlier adventures: Bookbag thoroughly enjoyed Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul. And another young detective—from the Wild West this time—can be found in The P K Pinkerton Mysteries: The Case of the Good-looking Corpse by Caroline Lawrence.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Hidden City by Joan Lennon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Hidden City by Joan Lennon at Amazon.com.
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