Author: Katherine Woodfine
Published by: Egmont Books Ltd on 09 February 2017
When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides!
Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead . . .
I can’t say anything that happened in this book was surprising to me. I guessed most of the mystery near the beginning. This isn’t a typical mystery story. There aren’t really any clues or suspects, almost everything they do is based solely on speculation. There weren’t very many red herrings to lead our protagonists off the case and whenever one was introduced it was quickly dismissed. Their only “evidence” is when they actually recover the stolen painting, although they probably break a dozen laws to do so. Still I loved the ending heist, mostly because there were some great cameos of the characters from the previous book. So while I wasn’t particularly impressed with the story, I still found it to be an enjoyable read.
Naturally, the Baron makes an appearance. And if you’ve read the first two books it’s pretty clear that when the Black Dragon is introduced that he’s going to be the Baron. We get a few answers at the end when Sophie confronts the Baron, but not much. And really it’s more to whet our appetite. The Baron seems to have some sort of attachment to Sophie (using the word attachment lightly), because he emphasizes to her how he could kill her at anytime and she will always be his to manipulate. I’m kind of leaning toward the idea that Sophie is the actual daughter of the Baron and when Sophie’s mother found out she was pregnant and that the Baron didn’t want to settle down Sophie’s mother decided to marry Sophie’s dad, who probably is the heir to the fortune introduced in the last book. But that’s all just a random guess. I am curious to see where the story with the Baron goes though.
Also, I’m getting sort of suspicious of Mr. Sinclair. Part of me wonders if he is involved somehow in all these bad things that keep happening to the store. I am kind of wondering what he was doing at the Café Royal (or whatever it was called) when he was supposed to be out of the country. That little question was addressed by the characters, but an answer is never provided. Not only that, but it was mentioned that he wants to join some gentleman’s club, and a gentleman’s club plays a big role in this one. So maybe Sinclair was involved to try to get favor with the club members? I’m really hoping these things will be addressed in the next book, otherwise I will be annoyed at these little hints.
To be honest, this seemed like more of a bridge book. A lot of questions were introduced but not answered. Why was the Baron interested in the dragon paintings? What secret are the paintings holding? Why was Mr. Sinclair lying about his whereabouts? What’s the real connection between Sophie’s parents and the Baron? I hope all of these questions will be answered in the next book. I can’t wait until the next time I have a free chunk of time to read the final book in the series, The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock.