Kate, her Dad and her talking mouse, Rupert, are travelling by steam train to the Arctic. Before they even board the train, though, Kate spots something strange and it isn’t long before there’s ‘Total and Utter Chaos’.
Various items, including sixteen trophies, are missing and no one knows who the culprit is. Kate and Rupert decide to take on the case. They even have a prime suspect in mind.
Their investigation has Kate interviewing potential suspects and consulting her beloved copy of Catherine Rodríguez’s The Special Correspondent Manual for tips to help her solve the mystery. But not everything on this train is as it seems.
Young readers will love the talking animals, which I didn’t expect to be part of the story, and the story’s consistent pace.
I liked Hannah Peck’s illustrations in Jenni Jennings’ Malice in Underland and her style is evident in this book, helping to bring the characters and chaos to life. I really liked the design choice of making the pages black and the text white when events are occurring in the dark. Adding bright orange to the black and white illustrations may seem like a random choice at first but you’ll appreciate how appropriate it is by the end.
I’m interested in continuing this series.
Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Young reporter-in-training Kate and her mouse-accomplice Rupert are on board a train, to visit Kate’s mum in the Arctic.
But as soon as the train departs, mysterious things start happening.
A packet of ginger nuts goes missing …
A collection of gymnastics trophies are stolen …
And some ancient scrolls disappear …
Fellow passenger Madame Maude seems the most likely culprit, until a surprising – and delicious – twist turns the whole investigation on its head.