– Short Review –
A magical detective mystery story, perfect for 8 to 10-year old’s. A piece of real archaeology brought to life, in a fast-paced story with a great female character, Rose Muddle. This book has a particularly great ending that’ll leave you wanting to read the next in the series.
– Long Review –
The Rose Muddle Mysteries is an old-fashioned detective story told in an exciting modern way. The lead character is Rose Muddle. She is just a poor girl with no parents, plucked from the local workhouse in Hove, an English Town right next to Brighton. Rose has been picked for a job as a servant in the big house of Miss Templeforth, a rich old lady. But not everything is as it seems.
Miss Templeforth reveals to Rose that she is the guardian of an ancient magical pendant but unfortunately the old lady is dying. Miss Templeforth believes Rose is the next guardian of the pendant. But before Rose can find out more, a tragedy happens and the pendant is stolen.
Rose must team up with Rui, the nephew of the Maharaja of Jaipur, who is visiting Miss Templeforth his old governess, from India. Rui is a fan of Sherlock Holmes and fancies himself as a detective. However, dark forces seem to be at work and ancient magic will be awoken to threaten everyone. Rose and Rui, with the help of Bahula a pet monkey, must find the pendant and stop the bad guys, whoever they might turn out to be, and hopefully save the world.
There are some great twists and turns in the plot. Sometimes I thought the author, Imogen White, told me a little too much, but that’s a case of personal taste. However, the ending is so good, a real page turner, with drama, imagination and a sense of danger. There’s a cool twist waiting for you right at the very end too.
Rose is a great character, as is Rui. One is poor; the other is rich, but they complement each other, and are friends despite how different their backgrounds are. Bahula the monkey is a good side kick to the kid detectives too. Another great thing about the story I don’t want to say too much about, because it could ruin the magic of discovering the story for yourself. But let’s say the magical world drawn by Imogen White, mixed with the detective story is a great idea. Also, the bad guys are really sinister. Lastly, I thought it was cool that the story was inspired by a real archaeological artefact in the Brighton Museum, a Neolithic (that’s dead old) amber cup dug up in Hove in 1856.
To sum up, The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant is a fast-moving magical detective story, featuring a girl and boy mystery solving team, with really bad bad-guys, and a very exciting finale.
Stay tuned for our review of the sequel to this book, The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Secret Ruby.
The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant is published by Usborne and available to purchase here.
Imogen White won her place in the Undiscovered Voices 2014 Anthology with the opening to The Rose Muddle Mysteries. Imogen loves local history, and children’s stories that aren’t limited to beautiful countryside locations or secluded seaside coves.
Imogen lives in Hove with her husband, children and belligerent ginger-tomcat. The Amber Pendant – the first book in The Rose Muddle Mysteries – is her debut novel.
Follow Imogen on Twitter
Reviewed by Daniel Soule
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