winged reviews

Please welcome Susin Nielsen to the blog, author of We Are All Made of Molecules and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen, to share her bookish firsts!

Bookish Firsts

with author Susin Nielsen

susin-wildthingsWhat is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
The first books I ever remember being read to me were the Amelia Bedelia books – did you have those in the UK? The first book I remember reading to myself, which is still one of my all-time favourites, is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. read more

By: Daphne
Blog Tour, Middle Grade, Video / May 28, 2015

Today we are here to celebrate the release of Katherine Woodfine’s debut novel, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow! This is a delightful story that takes place in Edwardian London in a brand new department store Sinclair’s. Employees Sophie, Lil and Billy become unwitting detectives when the unique clockwork sparrow is stolen! It’s utterly charming and definitely for fans of classic mysteries like Nancy Drew with a dash of millinery thrown in. read more

By: Daphne
Cover Reveal, Middle Grade / March 6, 2015

Cover Reveal button

I’m happy to present the cover of the latest Songbird Cafe Girls book and a special Q&A with the author!

Sunny Days and Moon Cakes by Sarah Webb


with author Sarah Webb

Sunny Days and Moon Cakes is the second book in the Songbird Cafe Girls series. The books are set on an island called Little Bird. Is this a real island?

No, but it’s inspired by two islands off West Cork, Ireland: Cape Clear and Sherkin Island. I wanted to create somewhere very beautiful and quite magical, like those real islands. But I also wanted to give my island its own rapids, a resident dolphin (called Click) and its own special atmosphere. So I created Little Bird. read more

By: Daphne
Middle Grade, Review / July 21, 2014
Murder Most Unladylike by Robin StevensMurder Most Unladylike
Author: Robin Stevens
Series: Wells and Wong #1
Publisher: Corgi Childrens, Random House Children's Publishers
Date: June 2014
324 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Buy the BookGoodreads

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

If you put Nancy Drew in a boarding school, set it in the 1930s and sprinkle heavily with Sherlock references, bunbreaks and Cluedo, you’re getting close to describing the sheer charm that is Murder Most Unladylike. I absolutely adored Robin Stevens’ debut novel featuring the first case of the Wells & Wong Detective Society. As a warning, you will definitely want to read this book with a cup of tea and baked goods within arm’s reach. read more

By: Daphne
Middle Grade, Review / August 29, 2013
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan StroudThe Screaming Staircase
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Series: Lockwood & Co. #1
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
Date: August 2013
440 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
Buy the BookGoodreads

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

In trying to articulate my excitement for wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shortest ever review and leave it at that, because it summarises the book so well: freaking brilliant. (Well, freaky and brilliant, really).

Then I thought it might help to elaborate. My expectations were set extremely high when I first heard about this book at the Random House Children’s Publishers blogger brunch. It ticked all the right boxes for me—great author, alternative London setting, a cavalier hero, smart female narrator. Plus, actually having Jonathan Stroud there demonstrating how to fight ghosts with a rapier, salt, chains and a teapot was pretty perfect. read more

By: Daphne