REVIEW : THE SECRET DETECTIVES

TITLE: The Secret Detectives
AUTHOR: Ella Risbridger
GENRE: Historical Fiction
AGE CATEGORY: Children
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 336
PUBLISHED: February 4th 2021
PUBLISHER: Nosy Crow

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When Isobel Petty is orphaned, she finds herself being taken away from her home in India and sent to live with a distant uncle in England. On board the S.S. Mariana, she witnesses a shocking act – somebody being thrown overboard in the middle in the night. But when the ship’s captain insists that nobody is missing, Isobel and her two new reluctant friends must solve two mysteries – the identities of both the murderer and the victim – before they reach England and the culprit has the chance to escape.

Inspired by The Secret Garden and the golden age of crime writing, The Secret Detectives is a gripping, beautifully historical mystery, from an incredible new voice in children’s fiction – perfect for fans of Robin Stevens and Katherine Rundell.


She understood that if you had thought of seeing the world from such a great distance, and seen people from such a great distance, and seen their movements planned out as if you were outside time, you would do almost anything to have it; and more than that she understood that once you had dreamed of something like walking on the moon you could not leave it alone; and she knew then (and forever after) that she would not have been able to give it up for anything, either.

The Secret Detectives is a historical fiction about three little children solving a horrible crime. Isobel, Lettie and Sam are all from different families. All different all together. But they are all brought together after one horrible night. And from there on they will have to try and work together in order to solve the crime, before it’s too late!

I loved the three main character. They all had different types of families, if they even had one. They all were brought up differently, they all had very different opinions (not sure if this is the right word) about ethnicities, ways of life, what children should and should not do, pretty much about everything!
But! What made these three little children work together in the best way possible, as a tight group, was the fact that they spoke about everything. If one was accidentally speaking in a way that was hurtful to the other one, they spoke about it! They educated each other to speak differently, how you can ask if you don’t know something but are curious. You know? Does this make any sense?

The plot itself was great. The fact that this book is aimed for children, it was still intriguing enough for me as an adult to keep going. It is easy enough to stay on track but not too easy to figure out the ending before the book even got really started.

I liked the fact that it was set in a mail ship! I haven’t read books that were set in mail ships before. There for I guess I should say that the ship building was made well. I got enough visualization to figure out the main parts were everything was going on, were everyone mainly spent their time. But there were some parts of the ship that I would have liked to know more. Even though those weren’t the main focus, they were still mentioned quite a lot.

All in all this book was great! Though I know I said it was easy to read, I can see some parts that could be confusing to children at age 10-13 or whatever the children age range is. It is still intriguing and keeps your interest in it. And I could say that every character mentioned in the book is involved in the story from the beginning.
The ending was quite hasty to my liking but this being a book for children, I can see why there wasn’t necessarily more depth to everything in the end.
My favorite thing in this book was definitely the fact that three completely different children could work though their differences and opinions and see each other as an individual person, as a human being who deserves just as much as themselves do. The fact that they were able to become such a tight group, not minding about nonsense, basically. I only wish we adults could do that too.

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