Mini Reviews: Mystery & Mayhem, Jellicoe Road & London Belongs to Us

Mini Reviews: Mystery & Mayhem, Jellicoe Road & London Belongs to UsIt’s been an odd few weeks and I’ve been neglecting Pretty Books a little since I moved house. But I’m currently sitting in a local cafe with bookish housemate Charlie and ready to review!

Mystery & Mayhem: Twelve Delicious Intriguing Mysteries edited by Katherine Woodfine

I was excited to see Egmont publish a collection of crime short stories by some of my favourite children’s authors, such as Clementine Beauvais and Katherine Woodfine. In Mystery & Mayhem, we solve baffling crimes occurring in locked rooms, encounter a whole host of canine capers, and more; it’s a fun and varied collection of stories.

I’m sadly not a short story convert (still!) because more often than not, the stories end just as I start getting into them. However, the young detectives are a delight. We get to solve The Mystery of the Purloined Pearls with Lil from The Clockwork Sparrow series, and help Minnie from Marsh Road Mysteries track down which dastardly character destroyed the feathery carnival costume. I might stick to full-length stories, but I’m looking forward to reading more from The Crime Club.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

One of the most beloved Aussie young adult novels, I borrowed Jellicoe Road from Daphne after seeing so many people over the years say how amazing it was. I began reading on a busy tube and quickly decided this wasn’t the way to go. Jellicoe Road is not a story to be dipped into, but one that demands your attention, and one you must devour in one go.

Taylor Markham’s home is a boarding school where disputes between teenagers – the visiting Cadets vs. the local Townies – are rife. It’s at first puzzling and confusing but this passes as we begin to uncover Taylor’s past. She’s struggling with the fact her mother left her all those years ago, and when her friend and mentor Hannah disappears, Taylor is confronted with a lot more. The leader of the Cadets, Jonah Griggs, once again enters her world. Taylor’s story is also interwoven with memories from the past, involving a fierce group of friends: Tate, Narnie, Fitz, Jude, and Webb. Jellicoe Road takes you from bemused to clear in one fell swoop and is certainly a unique one.

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

I’ve (almost) always lived in London and adore books set here, especially when they’re written as well as London Belongs to Us.

London Belongs to Us takes us on a fast-paced London adventure: 17-year-old Sunny receives a photo of her boyfriend kissing another girl, so she leaves Crystal Palace to find out what’s going on and ends up at Alexandra Palace 12 hours later. It’s an unpredictable, colourful journey that takes Sunny through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho and more. I’ve been to almost every place and with Sarra Manning’s help, could vividly picture Sunny on her madcap journey with French cousins, Jean Luc and Vic – and not forgetting the many other diverse characters Sunny encounters on the way.

I rarely read a book that’s so much fun as London Belongs to Us. It was such a joy to read about my home city in all its glory, not forgetting the gritty parts. As an east Londoner, I enjoyed the attitude to the (so far away) south London and the characters they meet on the way, from drag queens and rickshaw drivers to lead singers and the awfully posh. It’s a delight!

Thank you Hot Key Books and Egmont for sending me two of the above books to review!

Blog Tour: Mystery and MayhemMini Reviews: Mystery & Mayhem, Jellicoe Road & London Belongs to UsBehold the Pretty Books! / April Book Haul

11 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Mystery & Mayhem, Jellicoe Road & London Belongs to Us

  1. wellthumbedbooks

    Loved reading these mini reviews 🙂 and your photography is lovely!

  2. I read Jellicoe Road years ago and found it so confusing all the way through but maybe I should give it a re-read and see if I can figure it out this time! I’ll definitely be picking up London Belongs To Us. You made it sound so good!

    • I was definitely confused at first when I had to keep picking it up and putting it down, but reading it all in one go definitely helped! I hope you enjoy London Belongs to Us 🙂

  3. “London belongs to us” is a book I plan to read. I have never been to London so it will be interesting to see if Sarra Manning can make the city come alive for me.

    Happy Reading!

  4. LONDON BELONGS TO US and MYSTERY & MAYHEM are on my to-buy list when I’m in England!

    Like you, I find short stories to sometimes be a little lacking. Just when you sink into it, it ends. But I figure if this is how I can get a taste of different authors I wouldn’t have tried previously, then so be it. Let me fall in love with your characters, writing, and storytelling just enough 😉

    I saw LBTU on Goodreads and was bummed to see it wasn’t coming to the US (at least not yet). It sounds like the perfect kind of summer book to me! Looking forward to diving in.

  5. You definitely piqued my interest! I’ve always wanted to visit London (or maybe even live there someday). I’m looking forward to London Belongs to Us.

  6. I’m so excited to start reading London Belongs to Us soon! I’m glad that you found it so fun to read, Stacey! I’ve read a few chapters already (because I can never resist!) and have to agree with you!

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