Taken from the workhouse to become a maid at a grand house in Hove, orphan Rose Muddle thinks her life is on the up. However, when she discovers her new mistress has plans for her which involve a mysterious amber pendant, Rose finds herself up against fearsome enemies, identified by the Sign of the Black Sun.
This is a brilliant story for reading aloud! The plot is well-developed and clues are carefully scattered through the story for the reader to gather and contemplate. You just know that reaching the end of a chapter will result in a huge 'NOOOOOO!' as you close the book at the end of the day!
Rose is a very engaging character- loyal and determined, she sets out to locate the pendant and live up to the expectations placed on her by others. Rui is equally engaging and coming from such different backgrounds, they complement each other very well; Rui has education and wealth, Rose has resourcefulness and resolve. Rui's devotion to Sherlock Holmes and determination to emulate his skill adds humour as does the wonderful, Bahula, Rui's monkey.
The story is quite dark in places and full of magic and mysticism. Many elements of the story were inspired by the local history of Hove and Imogen White's letter to the reader at the back of the book encourages you to explore the true story behind these facts- and to 'uncover forgotten secrets wherever you live'. A map of Hove as it was in 1907 is also included at the front of the story.
There is so much to enjoy about this story and as it is the first in a series, Rose Muddle has more mysteries to solve!
The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant Imogen White
Scholastic ISBN: 978-1474927291