Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: The Painted Dragon

The Painted Dragon
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

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! 

I swear I'm getting more and more obsessed with this series with each new book! This is genuinely one of my favourites and I'm so excited by some of the developments in this book and what they could mean for book four! 

One of the things I love about these books are the illustrations, newspaper clippings, notes, and extracts from various books! I love them! They add such a great break to the narrative, and the histories for each of the paintings at the beginning of each part added another dimension to the book too. It's so much fun! 

The opening grabs your attention, and I basically read this in one sitting because I couldn't put it down and I was excited to see what was going to happen next. Sophie and Lil are in high demand by the sounds of it, but Lil's career is also taking off so Sophie's going it alone a few times. We didn't get to see as much of Joe and Billy, and for the first half of the book there wasn't as much Sophie as usual either I don't think, buuuuttt....

We've got new characters! Leo and Jack! Leo is a lady from a wealthy family and her dream is to paint! Managing to win a place at a prestigious art school in London she comes to the city and is a large part of the mystery to do with the painting! I completely loved Lil and I'm excited to see more of her! Jack...oh my. I loved Jack too! He's Lil's older brother and he's supposed to be off at Oxford studying law, but instead he's snuck off to London to attend the same art school that Leo is attending. I loved him. Bless him he totally didn't believe all of Lil's stories obviously, it was fun to see him getting involved! 

I feel kind of weird about the book, because I feel like for a good chunk of the book Sophie was a bit absent, we focused on Leo a lot, and I really loved Sophie and connected with her. I know she goes on about the Baron a bit in this book and it annoys her friends, but I feel like it's justified after everything she went through because of him and the questions she had from the end of the last book. I missed her a little bit, I think! 

I'm not going to lie, I really ship Jack and Sophie. Like...I really, really do. He was such an interesting addition to the groups dynamic and knows nothing about sleuthing, and like I said..he clearly took all of Lil's stories with a pinch of salt. He was amazed at Sophie and Lil's antics more than once! I wasn't sure which way Jack was going to go at one point, but then the end happened and I was squealing, I'm so rooting for them in book four! I was shouting at Sophie at the end and everything! 

We get some appearances from some of our favourite characters, Mei and Song in particular I was so pleased to see! After the last book I was hoping they'd join the group and pop up more because I didn't want to lose them! I cheered when they made their appearance! We also got quick cameos from Phyllis, Hugo and Pendleton! I loved how everyone got involved with this plan towards the end of the book, it was such a brilliant scene! 

We got to learn a little bit about McDermotts past, and it was actually really fun to see Sophie and Lil investigating without his help, they where on their own. We also get to see the Suffragettes! I was wondering if they'd make an appearance and if the girls would meet them and then there they where in this book! I'm hoping we get to see more of them! But I love how well researched the book is, and all these little historical tidbits and facts are woven in to the plot and narrative. 

This book was brilliant throughout, it made you laugh, and I loved trying to put the clues together to find the culprit! There are plot twists and turns that keep you guessing, and there's lots of fun to be had throughout the book! Sophie's very own Moriarty is back and no doubt will be again, so I'm intrigued to see how that's going to carry on and conclude. There's an interesting thread to do with the paintings from this book, and I'm curious to see if that thread will be picked back up in another book and concluded at all! 

Things happen in this book. Developments. Something I think we've all been waiting for finally happens at the end of this book and I'm so excited for it and to see what happens with it in the next book! Not only does Woodfine have a fantastic pace in the books individually, but she has a fantastic pace with the series as a whole. Not to mention how she blends action, adventure, mystery, intrigue, and history with smidges (very small smidges) of romance to create each book! I'm so excited for the next book, and the synopsis for it at the back of this book has intrigued me no end! I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment! 


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