Amanda in England: The Missing Novel by Darlene Foster
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (118 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Amanda Ross is visiting England and taking in all the sights. She gets lost in the maze at Hampton Court, does some shopping at Harrods, meets the ravens in the Tower of London, explores Windsor Castle, and rides the London Eye. When she discovers a vintage book is missing from a collection, she is determined to find out who stole it. Amanda befriends a pair of tough teenagers from the streets of London, an elderly bookshop owner, and a big, friendly, clever, Maine Coon cat named Rupert. Follow Amanda through cobblestone streets, medieval castles, and underground tunnels in her quest to find the missing novel!
No sooner does Amanda’s spring break vacation begin than she’s confronted with a series of mysterious events. Will she be able to figure out what has really been happening to the missing books in Charlie’s store?
The most memorable scenes in this story involve Amanda discovering the cultural differences between her hometown in Alberta and London. Everything from clotted cream to the advanced age of certain buildings is new and exciting to her. Amanda’s joyful reactions to the rich histories of the places she visits piqued my interest in learning more about them.
What made the plot even more rewarding was how slowly the mystery of the missing books unfolds. Amanda has to work hard to uncover every single clue, and none of them are easy to piece together. I expected to figure out what was happening much earlier on in the plot than I actually did, and it was quite rewarding to finally come to the correct conclusion.
This is the third book in the series, but I had no issues catching up with the highlights of Amanda’s previous adventures. If anything the tantalizing glimpses of the mysteries she’s attempted to solve in the past made me want to go back and read the first two instalments! Amanda is intelligent, resourceful and plucky, and those traits make reading about her adventures a real pleasure.
Amanda in England: The Missing Novel is a delightful romp through modern-day London. I highly recommend it for readers in late elementary school or for anyone who loves solving playful mysteries that do not reveal their secrets easily.