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ARC Review: The Burglar’s Ball (Jane Austen Investigates #2) by Julia Golding

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Publishing Oct 22, 2021


Nancy Drew. Enola Holmes. Sally Lockhart. Move over girls, it’s Jane’s time!

Join young budding detective Jane Austen in her second investigation to uncover a devious diamond thief at the glitziest, most scandalous ball of the year! Inspired by Sense and Sensibility.

‘No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes. From her early love of sugar plums, and cleverness in hiding her expeditions into the pantry, her mother declared her far more likely to commit them. However, as Jane would counter, there was no better person to identify the culprit than the thief turned thief-catcher.’

When the headmistress invites her past favourite pupil to attend their end of term ball, Cassandra brings her younger sister, Jane, along too. Cassandra plunges into the feverish excitement of preparing for the biggest event of the year – the dresses, the dances and the boys expected from the neighbouring school.

Feeling rather excluded, sharp-witted Jane unearths the reason for the fuss – the headteacher wants to impress a rich family returned from India as the school is at risk of going bankrupt. Jane also befriends the dancing master’s assistant, a former slave, called Brandon, who is as quick to notice things as she. At the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen from a locked room and they are propelled into a race to uncover the burglar and save Brandon from gaol.

With the ever-present Austen spirit, Jane with notebook in hand, boldly overcomes the obstacles to finding the truth.

Perfect for readers aged 9-109, and for fans of Katherine Woodfine and Lucy Worsley.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was just as charming and engaging as the first. It’s so easy to fall into Jane’s world, and she’s such a plucky, determined heroine that her books are a delight.

This one brought back some familiar faces from the first adventure, as well as introducing many new ones. I love the way the mystery played out, giving just enough hints while still leaving me guessing.

I especially love the way Jane is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about the East India Company’s activities in India, racism, slavery, animal treatment in circuses, etc. They’re handled well and don’t take over the lightness of the storyline while still maintaining an appropriate seriousness.

I look forward to the next Jane Austen Investigates adventure!

*Thanks to NetGalley and Lion Fiction for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC Review: The Jane Austen Investigates – The Abbey Mystery, by Julia Golding

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a delightful mystery reminiscent of my favorite Mandie and Nancy Drew mysteries that I devoured as a child. The story dragged a bit at first, as Jane set out on her journey and settled into Sir Charles’ household, but once it got going I was thoroughly hooked. Dastardly villains have quite met their match in a young Jane Austen, her faithful dog, and her new friends. Jane investigates with enthusiasm and entertains and discards several suspects before alighting on the culprits. An all-around satisfying mystery adventure.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd. for providing an e-arc for review.

Blog Tour and ARC Review: The Tigers in the Tower by Julia Golding

Book Info:

The Tigers in the Tower by Julia Golding

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Publishing Date: November 18, 2020


“A Little Princess – with tigers! Orphan and outcast Sahira Clive is a brave and plucky heroine with a brightly burning heart. I was rooting for her all the way to the end of this thrilling – and thought-provoking – adventure.”Ally Sherrick, award-winning author of Black Powder

Sahira’s family are travelling to England to deliver two majestic Indian tigers to the menagerie in the tower of London.

But tragedy strikes and sickness steals Sahira’s parents from her on the journey. Left alone in London, Sarhira finds herself confined to a miserable and dangerous orphanage. Despite her heartache and the threats she faces, Sahira is determined to carry out her father’s last request – to protect God’s beautiful creatures: her tigers. To do so, Sahira must set out on an adventure and use all her powers of persuasion to engage the help of some new friends along the way.

Can the quest to find her tigers a safe home, lead Sahira to find her own place of hope and belonging in this strange and foreign land?

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My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved this story! It reminded me of the Little Princess and the Secret Garden, with characters and misfortunes worthy of a Charles Dickens novel.

Sahira is brave and determined to care for her tigers, even after losing both her parents on the voyage to England and being forced into a harsh orphanage where criminals have the upper hand and the proprietor is greedy and cares nothing for his charges.

She makes friends and braves many challenges on her quest to help her tigers. And she helps many other people along the way, never once backing down or giving in to bullies, no matter how much trouble she lands herself in.

I was rooting for Sahira the whole time, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about her adventures and exploits, and especially her love for the animals. Middle grade readers of all ages will love this adventure that’s full of heart.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd. for providing an e-arc to review.

About the Author:

Julia Golding is a multi-award winning writer for adults and young adults. She also writes under the pen names of Joss Stirling and Eve Edwards. Born in 1969, she grew up near Epping Forest. She studied English at Cambridge University, then joined the Foreign Office and worked in Poland, before returning to Oxford University to study for a doctorate in literature of the romantic period.  She worked for Oxfam, lobbying on conflict issues, before becoming a full-time writer. Over three-quarter of a million of her books have been sold worldwide in many languages.

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