Review | The Mystery of the Painted Dragon (The Sinclair’s Mysteries 3) by Katherine Woodfine

The best kind of children’s book: one big and little kids can enjoy! 4/5.

the-mystery-of-the-painted-dragon-by-katherine-woodfine

The blurb: When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides!

Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead…

It’s their most perilous adventure yet!

My take:

The Mystery of the Painted Dragon is the third of Katherine Woodfine’s Sinclair’s Mysteries and is every bit as enjoyable as the first two installments in the series. And beautiful… look!

Katherine Woodfine Sinclair Mysteries book covers

I love these books. They are fun mysteries set in London at the start of the twentieth century. Our amateur sleuths are two independent young ladies – Lil and Sophie – who are smart, resourceful and tenacious. For me, how they take care of themselves and each other is the best thing about these stories. This book has added girl power with the appearance of the Suffragette movement, making the feminist message all the more obvious.

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Blogiversary giveaway. And the winner is…

 Last week I celebrated my first blogiversary with a giveaway. Up for grabs were copies of these beauties:

The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Julia Sarda book covers photoThe Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Julia Sarda book covers photo

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine (click for my reviews).

I’m delighted to say that lots of people entered – thank you for taking part.

And the lucky winner is… Lindsay from Book boodle. If you don’t already follow Lindsay’s blog, you really should. Lots of lovely books and baking 🙂

On a blogging note, this was my first giveaway and first time using Rafflecopter. After initially being puzzled by a few things, in the end it was all quite straightforward. I’m now more confident I know what I’m doing and hope to host another giveaway sooner rather than later 🙂

Thank you to everyone who entered and all my lovely readers!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

1st blogiversary + 500 followers = giveaway time!

Who thought this day would come?

excited baby with birthday present gif

When I started this blog a year ago, it was mainly to give myself something to do while submitting my first novel to literary agents. There’s been some progress on that front, and while I still haven’t got an agent or publishing deal, I believe my book is better now than it was a year ago. In fact, I have a few more edits to make after receiving encouraging feedback from my reader in the Romantic Novelists’ Association (thank you, whoever you are) and then it’ll be back to submissions.

I told myself that I’d host a giveaway when I’d been blogging a year (this seemed unlikely last April) or had 500 followers (which seemed unthinkable). However, the stars have aligned and I’ve hit both milestones at the same time!

Thank you so much to all of you lovely people for following my ramblings and baking adventures. I put a lot of thought into what the greatest number of you might like to win for yourself or to pass on to someone else, and this is what I came up with… *insert drumroll*

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WWW Wednesday 20th April 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Wait! There’s more. Click to find out what I’ve been reading!

Review | The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine, illustrated by Júlia Sardà

Another fun, glittering mystery. 4/5.

The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Julia Sarda book cover photo

Look at how beautiful that book is! Silver embossing, my friends!!!

The blurb: The honour of your company is requested at Lord Beaucastle’s fancy dress ball. Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk… It will be the most thrilling event of the season!

This is a fast-paced and compelling mystery adventure with gorgeous Edwardian period detail. This is Mr Selfridge meets Nancy Drew!

My take:

I reviewed the first book in this series, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, last year. I bought it because the beautiful blue and yellow cover with gold embossing called to me. And then, once it was in my clutches, the blurb made it sound like a fun mash up of Nancy Drew and Mr Selfridge. And it turned out to be just that. I enjoyed it a great deal and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on book 2 and more of Sophie and Lil’s adventures.

I’ve gone back and read my review of book 1 and, to be honest, I have little to add for this review for book 2: Jewelled Moth is more of the same excellent stuff.

Continue reading…

WWW Wednesday 13th April 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Wait! There’s more. Click to find out what I’ve been reading!

Review | The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, illustrations by Júlia Sardà

This book is like a slice of perfect cake: light, fluffy, delicious and ideal to enjoy when curled up with a nice up of tea. 4/5 stars.

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine book cover

Yes, I know this is an enormous picture. But LOOK at that cover!

I was lured towards this book by the delightful, gold-embossed cover. Inside, the story is also peppered with cute illustrations. And “cute” and “delightful” are good words for this story. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is what you get if you mash together Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, Sherlock Holmes and set the action in a glittering London department store at the start of the twentieth century.

Wait! There’s more. Click for the rest of the review!