Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite place, in fact the place I would run too, should I ever be expelled from the UK, you never know, it might just happen, would be Malta. Well, Gozo to be precise, but the Maltese islands as a whole. So, imagine my delight at seeing a book for 9-12 year olds featuring adventurous children, which harks back to the theme of all the books I read as a child, that is set in Malta. It certainly ticked all the boxes for me to give it a go.
I loved the opening where Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, asking her to come to Malta because she’s there with her aunt and something’s not right. And then the way everything slots into place so she ends up going with her friend, Caleb, and his family.
Soon Amanda and Caleb are embroiled in the mystery of first trying to find Leah and then tracking down the missing statue of The Sleeping Lady, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Maltese islands.
What I really liked about this book was all the description and information about Malta: its history, people and culture. It’s all in there, but not overdone, and I hoped against hope that there would be a trip across to Gozo and was not disappointed, albeit in a year (the second in a row) when my plans to travel to Gozo have been thwarted. This was lovely as I could imagine exactly where Amanda was and what she was seeing.
This is the eighth book in a series where Amanda, the youthful detective, has an adventure in a different country each time and I would recommend it to all young readers who like to learn a bit about the setting of a story as well as following the action.