ISBN: 9781760651947 Imprint: Walker Books Australia Release Date: September 2, 2020 Australian RRP: $17.99 New Zealand RRP: $19.99
I have many fans of Allison’s books – The Mulberry Tree, The Turnkey and The Seven Keys – who have already been pouncing on this latest of the author’s mysteries. Once again the narrative takes the reader into an almost recognisable parallel world when young Tamsin offers her literary hero Edie St Clair her help in finishing the final of her best-selling series London of the Bells.
Tamsin lives next door to the celebrated author and often watches her comings and goings while drawing, with passion, the colourful characters from the books. In fact, she has drawn them all so many times she feels she knows them intimately and would love to be counted among their number. To her great astonishment she discovers that Edie can literally draw herself into the books and when the author goes missing, Tamsin realises she must be actually caught up in the unfinished final book. Burning to prove herself a worthy friend, Tamsin draws herself into the narrative and finds herself right in the thick of all the dangerous action alongside her beloved character friends. She quickly realises that she is perhaps the only person in London who can help Edie find the perfect ending to the last book – one that will satisfy both readers and more importantly to Tamsin, her fictional friends. Young readers will be turning the pages eagerly to discover all the secrets, twists and turns and surprising developments as the plot unravels.
Many of you will have already added this new title to your collection but in case you haven’t it’s a great addition to your 2021 orders list for readers, both boys and girls, from around ten years upwards. I highly recommend it for your lovers of strange mysteries.
ISBN: 9781760650797 Australian RRP: $16.99 New Zealand RRP: $18.99
I absolutely loved my first introduction to Flossie Birdwhistle in The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery and was so excited to read her next adventure, though I’ve had to wait a while. Let me say right now, it was worth the wait. Allison Rushby has once again transported us not only in time but also dimension as we enter the twilight world where Flossie has such a huge responsibility.
It’s now seven years or so after the war in which Flossie played such an important role. The help she had from her nemesis Hugo Howsham, who was a temporary ally, has almost been forgotten. Indeed, now it seems far away when Hugo manoeuvres himself into a position of power by acquiring three of the cemetery keys, his own and two more. He’s not just after Flossie’s key but is determined to master all seven for the seven cemeteries in the ring around London.
Flossie feels overwhelmed and has little idea how she can possibly outsmart and outplay Hugo particularly when the rest of the turnkeys seem to be feeling very resentful of her ineptitude over the key dilemma and the revelation of her secret association with Hugo in the past.
But this determined guardian of her departed is not alone. Her reunion with her much-loved maid Daisy laid to rest in another graveyard, the support of her older sisters who now rest in her care, her Advisor Hazel and eventually the rallying of the other Turnkeys enable her to thwart the despotic Hugo’s plans, at least for the time being, and further to ensure the safety of her mother, her only living relative.
These are just the most marvellously imaginative narratives filled with historical and geographical information about the London of the past and its society. There has not been one reader in my library to whom I have pressed the first book upon who has not come back thoroughly hooked and wanting more. I am well pleased I will be able to recommend this second as highly.
Certainly we will now be waiting for the further adventures of Flossie who no doubt will need to once again engage all her skills and the combined talents of her twilight friends to block any dangers to her resting charges.
Simply splendid for readers from around ten years upwards.