Now that Friday has solved the mystery of her missing mother, she and her best friend, Melanie, have arrived back at school, along with Friday’s father. However, Dr Barnes is not the only new arrival at Highcrest Academy. Princess Ingrid of Norway has just arrived in a limousine.
‘But this isn’t a Disney movie,’ whispered Friday. ‘Princesses don’t just pop up out of nowhere.’
There’s also another new student, Debbie. Debbie and Princess Ingrid are roommates and their room is next to Friday and Melanie’s. This is especially convenient for eavesdropping.
With one of the Dr Barnes at Highcrest Academy (there are six of them), we get to see some of the family resemblance. It appears Friday isn’t the only Barnes with a fondness for brown cardigans.
‘I try to be quiet and go unnoticed,’ said Friday. ‘That’s the whole reason I wear brown cardigans so I’ll blend in.’
‘Whatever you’re doing, it’s not working,’ said the Headmaster. ‘So stop it.’
Friday is also now not the sole Barnes to have made their acquaintance with the school’s marble statue of Socrates.
I’ve noticed a few offhand remarks in each book in the series so far that I’ve found cringey. There were a couple of times in this book where derogatory terms were used to describe mental health and, call me overly sensitive if you’d like, but I wasn’t okay with that. I did read a first edition copy of this book so it’s possible that these may not appear in later editions.
Binky, Melanie’s older brother, has plenty of page time in this book and he’s absolutely adorable, in his bumbling way. I expected Friday’s father to have more interactions with his daughter than he did.
The main mystery of this book surrounds the identity and motivation of The Pimpernel, who has been stealing items from the school for many weeks. That doesn’t stop the students from participating in sporting activities, like climbing around attic spaces, playing polo or battling it out in the annual Potato Dash.
‘Something sneaky is going on at Highcrest Academy and I’m going to get to the bottom of it.’
Once Upon a Blurb
Friday Barnes has a new case, and this time it’s personal!
When Friday’s father turns up out of the blue, he brings his daughter some distressing news – Friday’s mother has been kidnapped! But who would want to kidnap a theoretical physicist? The Headmaster needs Friday’s help too, when Highcrest Academy is thrown into chaos by the arrival of a beautiful new student – Princess Ingrid of Norway. She’s rich, she’s royal and she’s got her eye on Ian Wainscott. Despite heightened security at the school, things start to go missing. It appears Highcrest Academy has been infiltrated by a master thief, The Pimpernel.
Can Friday crack the case of her missing mother, reign in a royal brat and unmask the elusive Pimpernel? If it means she gets to ditch PE, then of course she can!