‘Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret,’ by Lyn Gardner.

Set in murky Victorian London, this story follows Rose Campion, adopted daughter of Thomas Campion (owner of Campion’s Palace of Variety and Wonders), as she tries to unravel a series of mysteries and deadly coincidences.

Rose was abandoned on the doorstep of Campion’s Music Hall as a baby and she loves it  there – the greasepaint, can-can dancers and comedy – but she can’t help but wonder where she came from and who she really is.

As stories of murder, blackmail and long-buried family secrets threaten her life at Campion’s, Rose must use all her acting skills, nerve and determination to get to the bottom of the mysteries before anyone else gets hurt.

From the very outset, this story had me hooked.  I could imagine myself peering through windows from behind curtains, creeping through graveyards in the dead of night and sifting through the foul mud on the bank on the Thames with the mudlarks in search of discarded coins and other treasures.

I really felt that this fabulous book gave me a true insight into life in Victorian London.  On a recent visit to our capital city, I was walking along the Thames with my super-sidekick and found myself discussing the children who used to have to earn a living foraging in the sand and silt below.  My sidekick thought this was a great idea and was very keen to go down there and find some treasure for himself.

He was also quite taken by the revelation that people used to throw the victims of their crimes off the bridges and into the Thames to hide any evidence of wrong-doing.  He was quite keen to throw his younger brother over, but I convinced him this wasn’t a good idea!

‘Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret’ is a pacy, enthralling and well-written read.  You need to have your wits about you to make the links between the events and clues given, but you always feel as though you’re right there with Rose in the thick of things, solving the mystery.

I would definitely recommend this for confident readers who love a dark and mysterious read.

Library Girl.

*Thank you to Nosy Crow Books for sending me this copy to review*

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