The Case of the Missing Moonstone
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford
Review: In the first book of a new series, Jordan Stratford imagines real historical figures Lady Ada Byron, age 11, and Mary Godwin, 14, as new friends, who start the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency to solve local crimes, in The Case of the Missing Moonstone.
Ada's mother has retreated to their country estate leaving her in their London townhome under the watchful eye of butler Mr. Franklin and maid servant Anna. When a new tutor arrives to teach Ada, who already knows pretty much everything there is to know, he is accompanied by Mary, who is to study with Ada. The two girls become fast friends, but are puzzled that the newspapers aren't reporting on criminals that aren't apprehended. "So the newspaper criminals are the not-clever ones, and the ones that aren't in the newspaper must be clever," concludes Ada. Mary replies, "I imagine that you could apprehend quite a few criminals. Being more clever than they." Indeed! And thus they decide to become private investigators, out to apprehend the clever criminals in the city, those not (yet) in the newspaper. And to keep their involvement secret, they name their new detective agency after Mary's mother's maiden name, Wollstonecraft.
Though intended for an early to middle-grade audience, The Case of the Missing Moonstone is a superb book for readers of all ages. In a preface to the book, Stratford says, "This is a made-up story about two very real girls. Ada Byron, who has been called the world's first computer programmer, and Mary Shelley, the world's first science-fiction author." He takes some liberties with their ages — in reality, they were 18 years apart in 1826 — and they never really knew each other, but that hardly matters. Featuring a supporting cast of other real-life characters (a young Charles Dickins, for example, plays a pivotal role), this is a delightful story centered on two thoroughly engaging young girls on a case to catch a very clever criminal. With action, adventure, intrigue, and a bit of humor, this first in series book is enthusiastically recommended.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of The Case of the Missing Moonstone for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Case of the Missing Moonstone: London
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The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford — The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency
Publication Date: January 2015
List Price: $16.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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