Review: Libby and the Highland Heist

Written by Jo Clarke
Illustrated by Becka Moor
Published by Firefly Press

I adored Libby’s first sleuthing adventure in Libby and the Parisian Puzzle, so was very excited to read her next adventure, Libby and the Highland Heist which I very aptly devoured on a visit to Edinburgh.  And it was an absolute delight: an exciting, action-packed and intriguing mystery in a wonderfully vivid setting that kept me utterly captivated.

Libby and her aunt, Miss Mousedale, have been invited to spend the Christmas holidays with Libby’s best friend Connie’s family on their estate in the Highlands.  Expecting a warm welcome, Connie is somewhat dismayed to find her dad working in his study rather than greeting her, and her mum not quite herself.  Libby notices the crumbling brickwork and the patched-up windows.  Could the family’s less-than-warm-welcome be caused by worries over financial troubles?

Whilst exploring the grounds, Libby discovers a derelict bothy in the woods with boarded-up windows.  When she wakes early the next morning and sees a light moving towards the abandoned house, her natural curiosity is aroused.  And when she hears a strange wailing sound and discovers a secret panel in the house, Libby knows that there is a mystery to solve …

And what a brilliantly clever mystery it is!  I was thoroughly engaged and entertained as I followed Libby and Connie as they unravelled clues to discover who has been stealing from the family.  I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers but suffice to say that this is a heist with a tantalising twist or two!  Family secrets, hidden passages, missing paintings, and one determined young sleuth intent on discovering the culprit with the help of some wonderful friends.  An utterly delightful, action-packed, page-turning mystery, and one which I have no doubt younger readers will adore.

Reading this whilst I was in Edinburgh was just perfect and such a treat!  I was exploring New Town, visiting Greyfriars Kirkyard and going on a ghost tour in the vaults, and then joining Libby and her Travelling School companions when I got back to my hotel room. I loved the spooky, wintery atmosphere and the real sense of danger faced by Libby and was just as desperate as she was to find out the identity of the culprit and their motive. 

Libby and Connie are incredibly likeable young girls who are firm friends.   Libby is naturally inquisitive, empathetic and clever.  Even when she faces danger, she is determined to continue to follow the clues, but can she outwit a villain who is just as determined to get way with a seemingly perfect crime? 

The illustrations are simply stunning and are a perfect complement to this wonderful mystery.

This is a cracker of a mystery:  action-packed, exciting and intriguing and just perfect to read cuddled up with a hot chocolate and shortbread. I’m so looking forward to joining Libby on her next sleuthing adventure in the fantastic Travelling School Mysteries series.

Thank you to Firefly Press and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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