Violet and the Pearl of the Orient

This is absolutely charming! *

Violet lives with her mother and father opposite rude and snobbish new neighbours: the Du Plicitous family. When another neighbour’s prized brooch is stolen, Violet and her best friend, Rose, decide to investigate.

That’s the plot, which is brisk and engaging. But the real joy for me is in the writing, which is deft and fluid; the pages fly by. There’s also a sly wit at work, with PC Green signing off a walkie-talkie transmission: Whisky Tango Foxtrot; the aforementioned Du Plicitous family; the crook they engage to work with them, Mr Frederick Orger; and officers from Scotland Yard’s Incredibly Serious Crime Squad.

It’s funny, fast and inventive, and knowing that there are four more of Violet’s adventures in print, I intend to buy them all.

* It’s also one of the best-looking paperbacks I’ve bought, with a lovely typeface, fine illustrations and an intricately wrought cover. It’s a pleasure just to hold and look at.

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