Saturday, 1 October 2022



 by JO CLARKE;  

An Adventure Book Review by Erin the Literary Cat ©


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Hello, and welcome to my weekend Book Review featuring Adventures in Middle-Grade Fiction! 


We had wanted to bring you some local news, but alas, since the local printer can only afford to run off two copies of the Upper Much-Mousing Gazette, they are being passed from house to house, one copy starting at either end of Main Street. With any luck, both will meet at the village chip shop, where they will have a second life around small portions of cod and chips. 


Being situate outside the village, Friday nights have become quite a novelty, and much to Mrs H's delight, she was able to complete a full, albeit slightly greasy, crossword with her supper. I, however, was not so lucky and got the less than appealing face of a drooling bull mastiff peering at me from the Lost and Found section under my pile of potato wedges!

So, with all that said, and not wishing to put you off your suppers, let's get on with a rather fine new adventure from Award-Winning Book Blogger and Primary School Librarian Jo Clarke!




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AUTHOR: Jo Clarke


Cover art by: BECKA MOOR


Published by: FIREFLY PRESS

Publication date: 19 January 2023

Paperback ISBN: 978 191 544 4011 


Cover price for Paperback: £ 7.99


Pages: 243.


Age range: Middle Grade (9-12 AND upwards)




Some as to plot direction and characters. 



Thank you to... 


We are exceedingly grateful to FIREFLY PRESS & NetGalley for the privilege of getting to Read & Review this much-anticipated book before publication. 


As ever, our views are our own, and we only share reviews of books we like and feel our readers deserve to know about and that we hope they will enjoy. 



The plot

A little bit of back story for you as this is the second book in the series. It features Libby, and her best pal, Connie, who are students at a school that quite literally moves each term from building to building and city to city across the globe. The first novel was set in Paris. Here Libby and Connie solved a matter of stolen jewels which had left Libby's aunt in the frame for the crime! This term, the school was supposed to be heading for New York. But a flood there meant at short notice, the students and teachers find themselves staying in Edinburgh. This is handy as Connie's family lives nearby in a delightful, if somewhat dilapidated, stately turreted home. Moreover, Connie's parents are 

The book opens with Libby, Connie and Libby's aunt, Miss Mousedale, a teacher at the school, arriving at Connie's home for Christmas. Libby's mother is away on a trip to Peru and won't be home for Christmas. All is not well, it seems, and Connie's father is shut up in his study whilst her mum has dark rings around her eyes. But the friends are intent on making the most of the time and go off exploring, putting aside any strangeness of the strangely quiet troubled reception.


It is, of course, inevitable that the best intentions of both girls to keep out of trouble lapse. In a rambling stately home, nothing could be more fun than a game of hide and seek. Which is when things start to get all exciting. 


Now, I won't be drawn into giving too much more away about what happens next, as it is all so nicely embroidered together that it will spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, the discovery of secret passageways, a mysterious yet strangely familiar intruder and any number of things that aren't what they seem or are where they are meant to be, lead Libby on a merry chase. The game is afoot, and Libby needs to uncover a family mystery and save the not-so-stately family pile from ruin. 



So, what did we think?


Simply elegant, adventuresome, mysterious, and delightfully addictive read. Jo has let the magic flow through this, the second adventure. In its MG way, it is as rambunctious as a ceilidh reel! Everything to love and recommend!

So . . . . 

Crunch time. 

I don't usually read series out of order, but I find that with this one, I will, and book one of the Travelling School Mysteries is already waiting for attention. 


This fine series is an able step up from the Enid Blyton of yore and those fabulous – or so Mrs H says – kids' TV adventures of the seventies. I have no doubt that this adventure rooted in current times will be an immense delight and a 'gateway tale' to grander adventures as the readers grow. 


It is lovely to see and read such stories. Where once years ago there was a desert, now there are oases of literary magic aplenty to quench the thirst of the most avid young reader.

Want to buy a copy?


To get a copy, please do think of your local independent bookshop. There are plenty out there, and each is just waiting to serve up a treasure of literal magical resource, fun and adventure with a personal touch.


JO CLARKE'S WEB page can be found HERE or type this: 


FIREFLY PRESS'S web page can be found HERE. or type this


BECKA MOOR'S web page can be found HERE.  or type this:




I shall leave you with a picture of me getting in some winter snoozing practice 🙂.

©Erin the Cat Princess



Till laters!





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