The Mystery of the Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine, published by Egmont on 9th February 2017
When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides!
Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead . . .
It’s their most perilous adventure yet!
'The Mystery of the Painted Dragon' is the third book in the Sinclair's Mysteries series about friends Sophie and Lil who repeatedly find themselves embroiled in mystery and mayhem. The series is in a similar vein to Robin Stevens's Murder Most Unladylike books, although this is aimed at a middle grade readership. I haven't actually read the previous two books about the intrepid duo but I don't think it really mattered as the story was standalone and the characters were easy to get to know. I do now want to get my hands on them though because this was such an enjoyable read that I'm sure the first two books are equally as good.
The story finds Lil and Sophie investigating the theft of a painting called 'The Green Dragon'. This throws them into the path of another young female and a budding artist called Leo. As the girls follow a series of puzzling clues and suspicion is cast on a number of different characters, it becomes clear that danger lies in wait around every corner. They also have the shadowy figure of the 'Baron' to contend with. Ooh, I love a good baddie!
I adored the historical setting of the book, with the story being set in 1909. It's a time when girls are trying to follow their dreams but society is still geared towards the advancement of men. Leo is a prime example of this as she tries to pursue a career in the arts, while also appeasing her family.
This was a fab read with a great mystery, fun adventure and lovely characters. I've wanted to read this series for ages and I wasn't disappointed. The next in the series is published in October and will be called 'The Mystery Peacock'. That gives me plenty of time to acquaint myself with the first two books about Lil and Sophie and the beginning of their adventures together.