Book Reviews · Reading

Review: Peril in Paris by Katherine Woodfine

38490214-2.jpgALL ABOARD THE TRAIN TO PARIS!

It’s 1911, and the young detectives of TAYLOR & ROSE are turning their talents to ESPIONAGE.

On a case for the mysterious SECRET SERVICE BUREAU, the daring MISS SOPHIE TAYLOR and MISS LILIAN ROSE must leave London for the boulevards and grand hotels of Paris.

But DANGER lurks beneath the bright lights of the city – and INTRIGUE and MURDER lie in store. As aeroplanes soar in the skies overhead, our heroines will need to put all their spy skills to the test to face the PERIL that awaits them…

I adored Katherine Woodfine’s earlier series, THE SINCLAIR’S MYSTERIES, so I was over the moon to hear that she was continuing Sophie and Lil’s adventures. PERIL IN PARIS is definitely a shift from the earlier books, in the sense that espionage is at its forefront, but it still retains the charm and excitement of Katherine’s first four books.

The problem with reviewing a book that is a follow on from an earlier series is that there’s not a lot I can say without spoiling THE SINCLAIR’S MYSTERIES. What I can say is this: Katherine’s writing and world-building is OUTSTANDING. I think setting in a historical period is so hard to get right, and Katherine basically provides a masterclass in how its done. I study the Edwardian era as part of my PhD and this was spectacular.

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Point number two: we get cameos of beloved characters, and meet some interesting new ones, but I adored the focus on Sophie and Lil. Sophie, in particular, really came into her own in this story, and the friendship between her and Lil is SO strong.

Thirdly, the plotting. This is MG mystery at its best. It twists and turns, and shocks and delights constantly. The balance between the physical action and the intellectual solving of the crime is perfect, and creates a story that feels well paced, but also lightning fast. I genuinely could not put this book down. Every chapter made me want to read on, and that is the mark of an A* mystery.

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This book has left me with bated breath for the sequels, and an insatiable desire to time travel to Paris in the early twentieth century. Whilst I’ll always adore THE SINCLAIR’S MYSTERIES, I think PERIL IN PARIS might be my favourite Katherine Woodfine book yet. It is clever and charming and sets up a brilliant series.

This was one of my favourite books of the year, and it more than lived up to the hype.

*An ARC of this book was kindly provided by Egmont*

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