Janine Beacham

Rose Raventhorpe Investigate... Hounds and Hauntings

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Murder and mystery return to Yorke as rumours of an ancient ghost- hound known as the Barghest is terrorising the skitterways. A pick pocket has been found dead in the Shudders, scarred by nasty wounds that look as if they have been inflicted by a dog's claws. Soon, events go from bad to worse as the malicious Wakemen take over the city, forcing the Butlers from Silvercrest Hall. Rose and Orpheus are determined to solve the mystery and set out to investigate.

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This is the third adventure for Rose and her friends- and it's every bit as exciting as its predecessors. With clues a-plenty and lots of action, the story is exciting and engaging. Yorke is a wonderful place, drawing heavily on the fascinating and beautiful city of York.

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The story also takes place out of York on the moors at Withering Downs, the home of Miss Wildcliffe, a local author and reputed witch who has come under suspicion after the attacks in the skitterways. 

This series is perfect for upper primary moving into Y7 as it offers a gripping plot and plenty of strong characters. The 'Glossary and Fun Facts' section gives more information about things in the story, how they relate to York, but also how the author has manipulated and altered things so she can add them to her story. Thoroughly enjoyable, I', looking forward to the next instalment already!

Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Hounds and Hauntings  Janine Beacham

Little, Brown Books      ISBN: 978-1510201323

You can read our review of Black Cats and Butlers (long listed for the 2017 awards) here.

You can read Harry's review of it here.

Guest review: Rose Raventhorpe Investigates Black Cats and Butlers

Recently, I enjoyed following the black cats trail round York so when one of my Reading Champions gave me this wonderful review of 'Black Cats and Butlers', I just had to post it.  Well done, Harry- excellent work!

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Do you like a good detective book? The read ‘Black Cats and Butlers’ by Janine Beacham.

Too many butlers are being murdered for it to be just a coincidence! When Lady Raventhorpe’s butler, Argyle, is murdered, her valiant daughter, Rose, decides to investigate the crime. She goes to the butler academy- Silvercrest Hall- and enlists the help of butlers Heddsworth and Charlie, and the maid, Bronson. Together, they embark on a mission to find the murderer. Rose thinks the suspects would either be an ex-butler (now a magician called Harry Dodge), a doctor of dissection named Doctor Jankers or a group of grave-robbers who call themselves ‘The Crows’.

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I enjoyed this book and it made me want to read other books in the series, ‘Hounds and Hauntings’ and ‘Rubies and Runaways’. I would recommend this book to children aged 8 onwards. It’s a thrilling detective story set around the Victorian era. This novel is an intriguing mystery with a heroine who is intelligent, resourceful and stubborn. With the unexpected ending and an unlikely murderer, this book will keep you hooked from the moment you set your eyes upon it.

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Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Black Cats and Butlers    Janine Beacham

Little, Brown Books   ISBN: 978-1510201286

Review by Harry.

LONGLIST REVIEW: Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Black Cats and Butlers

Butlers are being murdered and when Argyle, the Raventhorpe butler, is next on the list, Rose is determined to solve the case. And then there's the mystery of the cat statues- why are they disappearing..?

Set in Victorian Yorke, 'Black Cats and Butlers' is an excellent mix of mystery and adventure with a historic flavour. Rose makes a wonderful heroine; full of qualities not appreciated in women at that time, she throws herself into the thick of things, determined to find the truth whatever the cost! 

Full of well developed characters, 'Black Cats and Butlers' makes an excellent read aloud with plenty of action and lots of opportunities for 'doing the voices'- all those butlers for a start!. The vocabulary chosen is rich and varied, offering plenty of atmosphere. 

The Yorke of the story is not the York we know and yet there are similarities Rose visits the Shudders, once the Shutters, 'a cobbled alley so narrow that the window shutters of opposite buildings almost touched each other.' The cat statues of York also play a significant role in the Yorke of the story as does the 'Cathedral'.

'Black Cats and Butlers' offers all the thrills and spills of a murder mystery with touches of humour along the way. I look forward to reading her next adventure soon!

Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Black Cats and Butlers   Janine Beacham

Little, Brown Books   ISBN: 978-1510201286