The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. Now if that doesn’t sound Blytonian I don’t know what does. It makes you think of the Five Find-Outers and Dog, which is a good place to start. However what I’ve read of the book so far is very much out of the Five Find-Outers category, the title is as far as this comparison can go for this particular Blyton creation and we now move more into the territory of Adventure Series.
Let’s take a closer look.
Set in that rose tinted timeframe of the Edwardian era, we are introduced to Sophie Taylor-Cavendish, an orphan left penniless when her wealthy army-based father dies without making provision for her. She finds herself a job as a sales girl in the newly set up store Sinclair’s (an approximation of Harrods, Fortum and Mason and Selfridges). With the store about to open, Sophie is very busy helping the other girls and boys prepare the store for the wealth of interest but strange things begin to happen that can potentially upset the smooth running of the store.
Unfortunately I haven’t got very far in, so can’t really tell you what happens to create so many issues, but so far even I’m a little stuck with who could possibly be messing up the grand opening of the store.
The Edwardian time frame, somewhere before the First World War as a clip from a newspaper article tells us that the German ships were being debated in parliament, allows for a very Downton Abbey/ Selfridges feel to the world, the plush riches and the stark poverty that come with the time in history, and is still very prevalent today. So not only are we racing towards the opening of the shop, we are also against time as the First World War draws closer and the world will be turned upside down and the lushness of the world destroyed.
I have high hopes for this book, what I have read so far and the reviews that I honestly think this is going to be a real smasher of a book and a mystery. Woodfine states in several places that she was influenced by Enid Blyton’s books amongst others. The two heriones are shaping up to be strong characters, and there are several mentions of food already in the way Woodfine writes. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to read this next week and be able to give you an better review next week!
If you get a chance, go to your local library and find a copy, I think this is going to be one worth reading!