After an 'unfortunate incident' at her old school, Daphne is on her way to St Rita's, a girls' boarding school. Being a bookworm, she is delighted to be offered a post in the library which is where she meets the unique, quirky Emily Lime, the librarian's assistant, who just happens to be a crime solving genius. Daphne also meets George- the only boy in the school. With strange things happening around them, the three find themselves teaming up to solve the mystery.
Full of fabulous characters, 'The Book Case' is a brilliant read. The school could be compared to St Trinian's in its cast of larger than life pupils and staff. Evidence of failed chemistry experiments, chaos in lessons and midnight feast raids on the kitchens create a fantastic impression of what this school for 'Spirited Girls' is all about! The irascible Emily Lime is just brilliant- her wonky glasses and beret, her 'sour expression', her complete lack of comprehension that anyone might not like books, her outrage when one is damaged- all build a very quirky, individual and unlikely 'Holmes' figure for the story. George- the only boy at an all girls' school- is an unexplained mystery in himself who explains much of the craziness to Daphne (and the reader).
The story romps along at a pleasing pace, littering the path of the reader with clues about the mysterious goings on until it reaches its conclusion. It is very well written with lots of wonderful description. George, for example, is described as having 'an odd smell about him, of something faintly exotic but distinctly unpleasant; his hair was enthusiastically berserk.'
Feeling at times like a tongue in cheek Malory Towers, set at some time like the 1930's, 'The Book Case' is a rompingly good read, with lots of black and white illustrations throughout. Spiffing really!
The Book Case - An Emily Lime Mystery Dave Shelton
David Fickling Books ISBN: 978-1910200544