I recently posted my review of THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, on my library's Facebook page.
THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, is the first in the “Adventures on Trains” series which will number four entries by the end of 2021 and is aimed at readers aged nine-years-old or older.
The Highland Falcon is the name of a steam engine which, on its final commemorative voyage, is doing a lap of the UK, from London and back, with a stop off at Balmoral in Scotland to pick up the (unnamed) prince and princess who will wave from the train as it passes slowly through stations and show off the magnificent Atlas Diamond necklace.
Our hero is eleven-year-old Hal who is, at first reluctantly, joining his travel writer Uncle Nat on this Royal Train. Hal thinks he’s the only child on the train and is disappointed to not be able to play his electronic games. He is a talented artist, however, and settles for sketching. When Hal spots a girl hiding in the out of bounds part of the train, he tracks her down and together they decide to track down the jewel thief who has struck at least once already, and with the priceless Royal jewel coming aboard they know what the thief’s next target will be.
Things of course do not go to plan, and Hal has to be very brave to save the day and later reveal the culprit in a classic “get all the suspects together in the dining room” denouement.
From its striking foiled cover to the high-quality drawings inside, this is a very attractive book and it is complemented by an exciting and informative story. Readers will pick up some history of the railway whilst trying to solve the puzzle of who is stealing and where are the stolen goods being hidden? The solution to the latter should appeal to the target audience!
THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF has unsurprisingly won several awards including the ‘2020 Books Are My Bag readers awards’ for Children’s Fiction.