This debut novel by Fiona Longmuir has a very enticing set up premise in the idea of a secret museum with a mysterious collection of items belonging to a child who has vanished. The story centres on Lily, who is not impressed by her new home, the seemingly dull, quiet seaside town of Edge. But when she stumbles into an ordinary looking cottage and discovers a hidden museum Lily realises that her new home has more secrets and excitement than she thought. The Museum of Emily is filled with the belongings of a girl who disappeared without trace many years before. Lily is determined to solve the puzzle and enlists new friends Sam and Jay to help her investigate the mystery of who Emily was, why she vanished and who has created the strange museum.
This is an enjoyable, intriguing book which will entice young readers with its atmosphere of intrigue and adventure. The chapters are short and pacy, alternating between Lily’s present and Emily’s past, and drawing the reader in with clever plot twists and plenty of action and tension. Lily and her friends are appealing characters, and the dialogue and descriptions are full of humour. The seaside setting is evocative enabling links to pirates, smugglers, and lighthouses. Friendship, courage, and determination win the day in a gripping adventure story full of twists and turns which will make readers as eager to solve the mystery of missing Emily as the characters are.