This is the 3rd Maisie Hitchins book for me, and just like the other two books I had tons of fun reading this one. Maisie is just a fabulous character, and I can resist a girl detective. Especially when the story takes place in Victorian London. She has to go with guts, wits, smarts, and since there are no computers or cellphones she has to do all the things herself. Researching everything she can.
In this one Alice has to go to a boarding school as her father and her new mother (her old governess) are off for a honeymoon. Alice and Maisie quickly make a promise to see each other plenty of times, and if there is a problem, Alice will hang out her blue bonnet (the one she never wears and is apparently quite blue). Of course, I knew that a mystery was coming. Not just because of the blurb, or the cover, but because Maisie and mysteries are never far apart. It seems like they are looking for each other.
However the blurb made it seem that Alice’s disappearance is the biggest thing to happen in the book, but it is way more than that. Alice disappears… for a reason as Maisie finds out. But there is more going on in the boarding school. There is a mean bully girl named Bella, things keep disappearing.
I loved that Maisie went out and about in disguise as a maid. That allowed her plenty of access in spots that normal people wouldn’t be able to search without getting in trouble. She has to clean up the rooms anyway, so why not look around a bit. 😛 I had a laugh that she had to wear a wig. Yeah, she may not like it, but her hair is quite bright and people will recognise her in a snap. I kept wondering when someone would find out her identity, because there is bound to be a time she pulls off the wig or scratches her head.
Of course, I knew quite soon who the culprit was to the missing items, and it was great fun to see how Maisie and a group of girls figured it out as well and concocted a plan to have that person busted. How they did it? It was brilliant.
Bella was just the only thing I didn’t like, especially that, once again, none of the adults do anything about it. I get that the girl is rich, or well her parents are, and that the parents are influential, but really? She is pulling little girls by their hair, being absolutely horrid and making terrible comments. But again, she has a sob story, apparently she hasn’t seen her mom and dad in years. And yes, that is sad. But no excuse for bullying and being a terrible person.
I was happy to see Maisie’s grandma and Maisie’s dog again. I am glad that grandma is quite supportive of Maisie and in this one even helped her out.
Like the other books this one was illustrated with delightful illustrations.
All in all, I need the rest of the books in this series. I want to see what other mysteries Maisie will solve. Oh, and before I forget, yes you can read the books out of order. There may be spoilers, but I didn’t think they were too big.