Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence (The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins #1) by Holly Webb

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence by Holly Webb
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • ISBN-10: 0544339282 - Hardcover $14.99
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 2, 2014), 176 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and the Amazon Vine Reviewers Program.

The blurb:
Maisie Hitchins is a noticing sort of person.  That's why she's convinced she would make an excellent detective if she ever got the chance!  But instead of detecting, she's usually polishing the banisters at her grandmother's boarding house or fetching fish for the lodgers' dinner.  Maisie is willing to bet that her idol, Detective Gilbert Carrington, never fetches his own fish.

So when Maisie discovers and abandoned, half-drowned puppy in an alley, she takes on the crime as her very first case.  On top of bringing the person behind the troubles of her new canine sidekick, Eddie, to justice, Maisie is intrigued by recent thefts at the butcher shop.  With Eddie as her faithful assistant, Maisie seizes her clue notebook and searches the streets of London for the evidence she needs to crack both cases -- and maybe, just maybe, become a real detective herself.

Twelve-year old Maisie Hitchins lives at 31 Albion Street, London, in a boarding house run by her grandmother. Though Holly Webb doesn't specify that they live during the Victorian era, people rely on horses and carriages to get around and snack on aniseed balls, lavender lace, and sugared violets. Maisie's smart, curious, and dreams of being a detective, like her hero Detective Gilbert Carrington (who is much like Shelock Holmes).

When Maisie comes across a nearly drowned puppy in a sack, she undertakes to find the perpetrator of the deed. Her beloved puppy makes off with George, the butcher's delivery boy's sausages, and Maisie feels responsible when George loses his job. Though George was fired when he was found with a "marked" sixpence and not because of the sausages, Maisie resolves not to rest until the true culprit is found.

Maisie is helped by two lodgers with unusual expertise. Disguises, acting, careful detective work and her new puppy help Maisie solve the puzzles. This first detective adventure with Maisie Hitchins is funny and sure to appeal to young mystery lovers.

About the Author:
Holly Webb is a former children's book editor who has written more than 60 books for children published in the United Kingdom.  Webb lives in Berkshire, England, with her husband, three boys, and two cats.  This is her first book with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Learn more about Holly Webb at

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