Publication Date: 30 January 2020
Cover and internal illustrations by Elisa Paganelli
Steam-powered sleuthing abounds in this atmospheric mystery where you feel yourself carried along for the ride aboard The Highland Falcon.
The abundance and history of the unique setting is captured perfectly through rich language and captivating illustrations. An eclectic cast of characters bring a mix of humour and heart, along with mystery and menace.
Hal’s ability to notice, and record, the small details through his sketches mean that clues and red herrings mount up as the train chugs through the English countryside, the Scottish Highlands and back again.
His relationships with his Uncle Nat and Lenny grow with the mystety into firm friendships, with trust and teamwork at their hearts.
Steam-fans will delight in the carefully researched details of the train, and how it works, included in a way that adds a depth to the story without ever slowing the pace. It is the attention to the nostalgia and romance of this form of travel that makes Hal’s initial boredom and bemusement on boarding change to curiosity and a passion that matches his Uncle Nat’s so believable.
My son would have adored this when he was in primary school – it’s perfect for stretching younger readers wanting a longer, more challenging read.
Great for fans of:
- High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson
- The Guggenhiem Mystery by Robin Stevens
- The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
Huge thanks to Jo and Macmillan for sending me a signed copy. Roll on September, so I can board the Californian Comet with Hal and Uncle Nat.