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Deborah's Secret Quest by Cecilia Falcon
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Deborah's Secret Quest

by Cecilia Falcon

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This book manages to roll together a school story with a historical mystery by the simple device of locating the school in a historic house. Deborah was brought up knowing and loving the house, but on the death of her uncle, was displaced from inheriting it by a long-lost cousin, Natalie, now a senior girl at the school which has relocated to the house, and to which Deborah is now sent as a new girl. Spending her time attempting to locate her uncle's will in her favour (and getting into trouble as a result), she inadvertently finds clues to solving the mystery of what happened to the family jewels, over whose fate two families have been feuding for a couple of hundred years.

The book is quite fun, but suffers from running a few too many false leads and unnecessary complications (such as a dumb twin who parallels one of his ancestors but plays no effective role), plus a couple of unlikely happenstances. Do letters really stay down the backs of sofas for two centuries? Is Natalie that common a name? It pulls out an unexpected ending, and points towards a slightly implausible future resolution of the inheritance issue. I would guess that Elinor Brent-Dyer's "The Lost Staircase" (1946), or something like it, was a direct influence.

MB 8-ii-2010 ( )
  MyopicBookworm | Feb 8, 2010 |
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