Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the Disney fantasy Christopher Robin, prompting Sim to share her take on the same movie. Gaele reviewed Amanda’s Wedding by Jenny Colgan and The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer. Becky reviewed Evelina by Fanny Burney, 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie, Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut, Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier, and Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick.
Book: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford
Genre: Middle-grade mystery
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 2015
Source: ebook borrowed from the library
Summary: In this playful book using historical characters, Ada Lovelace (my hero since I was a young computer science student — most recently mentioned in L is for Lovelace during last April’s A to Z challenge) and Mary Godwin (the future author of Frankenstein) share a tutor. Young Ada is bossy and preoccupied with whatever her current obsession happens to be. Mary Godwin is quiet and keenly aware of her lack of social status. Mary, though, is wise in the ways of the world and society and so she is a good influence and helpful partner when Ada is forced to interact with people outside her household. Ada’s eccentricities are tolerated by the staff, but she comes across as decidedly odd to others.
A mystery develops and takes our characters around 1826 London and brings them into contact with other characters from history.
Thoughts: I don’t read many middle-grade novels because they, too often, over-explain everything. The Case of the Missing Moonstone turned out to be a delightful story.
My favorite part, though, was probably the historical note at the end where the author confessed that Ada and Mary were too far apart in age to share a tutor and introduced us to all the other historical characters. That note is probably why there wasn’t a need for too much explanation in the text.
This is the first installment of The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series. Three other books have been published since, so I have more to look forward to — starting with the next in the series, The Case of the Girl in Grey.
Appeal: This is a book that will appeal to girls, with two strong female characters, but boys will enjoy the antics of Ada and Mary, too. Adults with a willingness to play with history will enjoy it, too. If you take your history seriously, the poetic license taken in The Case of the Missing Moonstone will be annoying.