They are back – The Marsh Road Gang – Flora, Sylvie, Piotr, Andrew and Minnie. When Dad cancels the holiday to Tenerife, something is clearly very wrong. And indeed it is. Blueprints have been stolen from Dad’s firm; he faces disgrace. It is up to Flora and Sylvie together with their friends to solve the mystery. After all they have experience in solving crimes.
This is the third outing for the Marsh Road Gang, and it does not disappoint. The action is brisk – indeed, by the end we are galloping breathlessly round the Breeze factory. The relationship between the five friends is neatly handled allowing their different characteristics to shine through. This is not the place for subtle character development, rather the young reader wants to meet the friends they met in the first book – and recognise them with no surprises. The adventure is very plausible. Though the word “spooks” appears in the title, there are no steely eyed foreign spies, rather industrial theft is the crime – entirely credible. One of the real problems facing authors writing adventures for young readers in the 21st century, is what to do with the adults? How can the young protagonists take charge? Elen Caldecott handles this skilfully – and with humour. Her grown-ups all display elements of caricature, allowing the children to take centre stage – as they should.
Thoroughly enjoyable from the first page to the last, this adventure will cement the reputation of the Gang and leave young fans looking for more.