Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl

9781474915014

Storm clouds gather over Lily and Robert’s summer when criminal mastermind the Jack of Diamonds appears. For Jack is searching for the mysterious Moonlocket – but that’s not the only thing he wants.

Suddenly, dark secrets from Robert’s past plunge him into danger. Jack is playing a cruel game that Robert is a part of. Now Lily and Malkin, the mechanical fox, must stay one step ahead before Jack plays his final, deadly card…

Moonlocket is the second book in Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart Adventure series. I interviewed Peter about the first book Cogheart here.

This second instalment is a fast-paced, mystery solving escapade. Set 8 months after the events of Cogheart as London prepares for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, Lily, Robert and Malkin delve into Robert’s long lost past….and it’s not long before they get mixed up with famous escapologist and criminal Jack Door!

This book involves spiritual seances, lock-pickers and a mysterious, moon-shaped locket…With the help of London urchin Tolly, Lily and Robert become detectives. The clues they uncover come together seamlessly and propel the plot forward, building up the tension so well that I had to remind myself to read slowly. It was great to  find out more about how mechanicals work.

Peter’s vivid characterisation of Lily is fantastically done. She’s so nonchalantly confident and determined, and I love how she informs her father and Robert about the intricacies of lock-picking between bites of toast. Peter’s writing is engaging and full of humour:

“Malkin,” Lily whispered, “you’re going to have to create a distraction.”
“What sort of distraction?”
“I don’t know, a distracting one.”

Some of the prose is just breathtaking.

“The moon’s waxy pockmarked face peered through the window, pale and pithy as a piece of fruit, stars sprinkled behind her like spilled sugar.”

One thing I’m looking forward to returning to in the next book is the conflict between Lily and her over-protective father. I didn’t feel that this was completely resolved in Moonlocket, so I’m hoping we’ll see more of how Lily deals with this and being a ‘hybrid’ in book number three!

This is a thrilling novel about proving your worth and the struggle to forgive. Courage and catastrophe come together to create an adventure as intricate as the Cogheart itself.

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