The Pearl Thief – Elizabeth Wein


  The Pearl Thief – Elizabeth Wein, Hyperion, (9781484717165), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  5

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book?  This prequel to Code Name Verity, introduces readers to a young Scottish girl named Julie Stuart who becomes embroiled in a mystery at her family’s estate in Scotland.  Set in the summer of 1938, Julie returns early from boarding school as her family is packing up her grandparents estate which is being sold to cover debts.  Stopping by the river, Julie is hit on the head and wakes up 3 days later with no memory of what happened.  But feisty Julie is determined to find out why someone knocked her out and how it relates to the missing Hugh Houseman, who was working to catalog her family’s treasures for a museum.   Julie was rescued after her assault by a family of Scottish Travellers and befriends brother and sister, Euan and Ellen McEwan.  This is a story full of mystery and danger where class issues between the Scots  and the Travellers have been brewing over centuries.  The book is filled with Scottish terminology that careful readers will find easily decipherable.  Those who have already met Julie in the sequel will welcome a chance to spend more time with her, while new readers will be eager to follow her story in the next book.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers who loved Code Name Verity will love learning more about Julie’s life before WWII.  Fans of historical fiction and mystery will also enjoy this title.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/23/17             

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