Maisie Hitchins: The Case of the Vanishing Emerald by Holly Webb

Published by Stripes Publishing (ISBN: 978-1847153722)

Living with her grandmother at their boarding house is not the life that would-be detective Maisie Hitchins wants. She longs to following the footsteps of her hero, detective Gilbert Carrington- and this she does. When a valuable emerald necklace goes missing from the theatre, Maisie is called in to solve the case.

Set in Victorian London, Maisie is a likeable heroine who is strong willed and full of curiosity. The guest-house introduces other characters and it is through one of these that Maisie learns of the missing emerald. Although her grandmother disapproves of the theatre, Maisie is allowed to go and help as a dresser and this allows her to investigate.

Illustrated throughout with lovely line drawings, this book is a charming read with plenty to appeal to the reader. The plot is relatively simple, but with some satisfying twists along the way.  The story also provides opportunities for discussing the fact that people are not always what they seem!

Although this may well appeal more to girls than boys, this is a satisfying story for younger readers.