I first came across Lyn Gardner’s books when Nosy Crow sent me a copy of Olivia’s First Term the first book in a contemporary stage school series.  I enjoyed it very much and went on to read all the books in the series and review many of them.  One of the (many) lovely things about Nosy Crow for a reviewer is that they remember the kind of books you’ve shown a particular interest in and send you others like them.  And so I also acquired the Rose Campion series by the same author.

Rose Campion and the Christmas Mystery is the final outing for this heroine and now seems like the seasonally appropriate time to mention it.  Rose is a feisty and independent leading lady, a foundling who has made a life for herself at Campion’s Palace of Varieties and Wonders.  She’s solved mysteries before this but now faces something more deadly.  The Duchess, ruler of London’s criminal underworld, is about to be released from Holloway…

Lyn’s books are immediately appealing, written with a light touch, and full of strong and believable characters.  As soon as I opened this one I wanted to know wat was going to happen.  I can’t tell you much as almost any information would spoil the story.  But I can say that Lyn knows how to tell a good story and that, if you enjoy a good mystery, this is one you shouldn’t miss.  It’s written with upper primary school children in mind but I’m with CS Lewis in thinking that a good children’s book can be read by anyone.  This is a good children’s book.

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