Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor

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Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: Super Sleuth Violet Remy-Robinson returns in this third instalment of the jolly mystery series. The wonderful illustrations add to the fun.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: March 2016
Publisher: Simon and Shuster Children's UK
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471122637

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Violet's godfather has inherited a sailing boat and invites Violet and her family and friends to join him on a sailing adventure in the Mediterranean. How could Violet possibly say no? This turns out not to be quite as relaxing as you may imagine. It is not long before our heroine has suspicions about the captain of another boat and Violet's detective skills are needed again. With the help of her friends, Rose and Art, Violet is determined to solve the mystery. Will she be able to put a stop to a dangerous smuggling ring?

Violet is an extremely likeable character and the charm and appeal of the earlier stories carries on in this third offering from Harriet Whitehorn. The book begins with a swift introduction to the characters and it would be perfectly possible to read this story without having read the previous ones. Mystery stories in which children solve crimes are always popular and this one is set in exotic locations making it that little bit different. The action moves from the Mediterranean via Dubrovnik to Venice and the Opera House and this adds to the feeling of having temporarily visited another world which can make a story very appealing. Violet is clever without being smug and I also developed a bit of a soft spot for her more timid friend Rose who tries so hard to keep up with her more confident chum. The plot moves at a cracking pace with enough twists and turns to keep younger children guessing and plenty of clues so that the reader may like to try and work out who the villain is before Violet and her gang. I am ever hopeful that the hapless P.C. Green will develop a smidgen more common sense by episode four as without the help of the children he is a danger to himself, poor chap!

The writing style is engaging with plenty of humour and young readers, even slightly reluctant ones, should be drawn in quickly. It would be impossible to review this book without mentioning the wonderful illustrations by Becka Moor. These are perfect for bringing the characters to life and are full of detail and humour. The details such as the characters' favourite ice-creams, glimpses of newspapers and the crime solving matrix are very cleverly done. The cover itself is stylish and colourful and definitely one that would catch your eye on the bookshelf. All in all this is a very jolly package. Thank you to the publishers for providing this review copy.

If highly illustrated chapter books such as this appeal you may also like to take a look at Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell Slightly younger readers would undoubtedly enjoy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy.

Buy Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Violet and the Smugglers by Harriet Whitehorn and Becka Moor at Amazon.com.


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