This is my first meeting with Maisie Hitchins, I spotted this book at a second hand part of a bookstore and it just seemed to be a book that I would like. Mystery, England (Victorian at that), friendship. Yep, I had to try it out, and boy, I am glad I bought this book as I had a lot of fun reading it.
You can read this book without any knowledge about the series/the other books. Sure, there are some points that were a bit confusing, but later on you get a bit more explanations about characters or what happened during previous events (thankfully without too many spoilers).
In this one we have missing ships. Are they being sunk? Or is someone selling the ships, painting them over? The case comes from two sides. Maisie’s dad who is at sea (and coming home it seems) and sees that things are awry, and Alice’s dad who is losing ships (and thus cargo). It is up to Maisie, and also her friend Alice, to find out what is happening, and fast, as Alice’s dad is off to China to check what is going on.
I loved how our girls went to figure out what was going on. From dressing up as boys (which looked hilarious, they so didn’t look like guys) to all sorts of other fun detective stuff. They really were dedicated, and while it was at times scary, they never gave up.
Maisie was a sweet and smart girl. I loved what she did for her best friend when she heard her friend had to go to China. Even if it meant losing her own space, she gave that up for her friend. Plus I loved how she generally didn’t complain when she had to do housework (at least not directly).
Alice was a quick favourite of mine. She was so different from Maisie (frailer, more dignified) but she was also smart and dedicated. I loved that, despite being afraid, she tried her best for her dad. She did something stupid near the end, but I could forgive her for that. I would have done the same. 😛
The ending was really fun and I am so happy for everyone, especially Maisie. Though I haven’t read the earlier books it seemed she waited a long long time for that person. Plus what he did for her? So sweet!
I love how the book is formatted to look like a diary/notebook with pages that have gone through quite a bit.
The book also has illustrations and I did quite like them. It is a bit simple, especially in regards to the characters, but I do think the cute/simple style fits the book.
All in all, a cute and exciting book with a great mystery and a weeping mermaid. Would recommend it, and I will definitely be getting the other books too.