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The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger: New for 2022, a mystery-filled detective story for children, perfect for fans of Robin Stevens!: Book 1

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It was great to read a historical novel for children where the main characters aren't white and middle class and the mystery/detective aspect made it really pacey and engaging. T. Williams described them made me feel as though I was right there with them, joining in with their adventure. Join our community to get personalised book suggestions, extracts straight to your inbox, 10% off RRPs, and to change children’s lives. Lizzie was part of a proud African family, whereas Belle lived with her aunt Betty (Lady Mansfield) and Uncle William (Lord Mansfield). But when they catch each other’s eyes at the theatre one night, each is delighted to see another Black girl her own age.

Thirdly, Belle’s house, which is a massive mansion of a place which -despite its size – is quite bare of people.

This is told at pace and the reader is totally caught up in the story, told sometimes in letters, with occasional notes as to where the two are in their deductions. An engaging illustrated early reader book, this is the first in the series to feature Lizzie (who is deaf) and Lucky the dog. The age range it was reaching for was still present in the descriptions of characters and plot twists, but I liked it. On the other hand, if Belle was the narrator, it wouldn’t have shown all of the family events that Lizzie goes through. The second book in the thrilling middle grade mystery series, perfect for fans of Robin Steven’s Murder Most Unladylike.

The story was exciting and mysterious since until the end it was not clear whether a falling chandelier that almost killed Elizabeth’s father while he was playing Othello in the theatre was an accident or a purposeful act. But no, Lizzie’s father is a famous actor: he has the lead role in the play that nearly ends his life. With a grand conspiracy afoot, and a mysterious organisation threatening their closest friends and family, who can Lizzie and Belle trust? This is a four-week Writing Root based around the book The Lizzie and Bell Mysteries: Drama and Danger by J. Can Lizzie and Belle get to the bottom of what is going on in the theatrical setting of the era, and protect Lizzie’s father; or in fact can they even protect themselves.

Thrillingly redolent of eighteenth-century London, the first book in a gripping new mystery series inspired by real Black British figures revolves around sinister onstage goings-on at the Drury Lane theatre.

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