Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1) by Jordan Stratford


This review was written by: B
Received: Free ARC from contest
Publication Date of Book: January 6, 2015
Pages: 240
Stars: 4.5/5 

Ada is a peculiar girl.  Her intelligence is spectacular for her age, and the inventions that she conjures out of her own ingenuity are breathtaking.  However, despite being the smartest child I have ever read about, her people skills leave little to be desired.  Whatever she is thinking pops right out of her mouth even if it is rude or curt.  With her late father obviously not a part of her life, a mother who is constantly away from home for months, a silent butler, two maids whose names always escape her mind, and a dear governess ripped away, Ada is not extremely friendly.  The addition of the odd Mr. Snagsby, the tutor (also called Peebs by Ada) hired to replace the governess, and a girl named Mary who is to study with her, makes Ada even more upset.

However, despite Miss Ada's less than warm disposition, Mary befriends this younger girl and together, under certain circumstances,  they decide to put their brains to use and become detectives in their own secret agency known as the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.  While Mary is not too picky about who they help, Ada pours over the letters from those who send pleas of help to them in hope of their assistance (even though the letter writers believe these so called detectives to be more than just children).  Finally, she comes to just the right case.  Rebecca has recently turned sixteen years old.  Her late uncle left her a necklace in his will that was to be given to her on this birthday, a beautiful pendant that is shaped like an acorn.  During the night of her coming-out party, the priceless gift was stolen soon after it was gifted to her.  The maid Rosie confessed to the thievery, but Rebecca knows that she is innocent.  It is now up to Mary and Ada to discover the true culprit and why Rosie lied about the crime before time runs out and the pendant is lost to their client forever.

My thoughts on the book:
The Case of the Missing Moonstone was a pleasantly enjoyable  read.  I ended up loving it and flipping through the book in practically one sitting.  Ada was so fun to listen to and read about!  She was truly unique.  While she began as a closed off individual, her journey to try and start to open up in this first installment (in what will undoubtedly be an amazing series) was cute and heartwarming at the same time.  Her dialogue and nickname Peebs made me smile over and over again. The whole thing was honestly charming.

The historical aspect to this book was definitely captivating and a huge plus for me.  Ada Lovelace is credited for being the world's first computer programmer while Mary Shelley is the author of Frankenstein.  When these two collided in this fascinating work of fiction, I instantly fell in love with them.  Sure, I realize that it's not perfectly historically accurate, and that's what makes the story so captivating.  It's an earnest book based on two strong and amazing girls, even if the facts aren't perfectly on the dot.  Bringing these two together was a brilliant idea.  The characters immediately came to life.  Middle graders will love this dynamic duo.  In fact, people of all ages can take something away from Stratford's work.  (I did anyway!)

I personally have so much respect for The Case of the Missing Moonstone.  It promotes an interest in history, young girls achieving whatever they want even if society isn't ready for it, doing what you believe in, and friendship.  Plus, at the end of the novel, there is a section for what really happened to the historical figures mentioned throughout the book during their actual lives so you can see the changes made by Jordan Stratford.  Kelly Murphy even illustrated beautiful pictures that were nicely dispersed amongst the pages.  What more can one possibly ask for?

The only reason that I took off a half star was because sometimes a fact would be stated and then the character would voice that fact right after it was stated.  This threw me off for a minute while reading because of its repetitiveness, but this only happened a few times.  I still highly recommend this book!  

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2 comments:

  1. Interesting to read something like this.
    i am the ceo of one of the best detective agencies in delhi

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    Replies
    1. It's a really fun and interesting read for sure!

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