The Last Duchess Review

Title: The Last Duchess
Author: Laura Powell
Series: A Silver Service Mystery #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 15 June 2017
Source: Pan Macmillan South Africa
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Reading Timeline: 23 August 2017 - 24 August 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Pattern is only thirteen, but is already rising through the ranks at Mars Minchin's Academy of Domestic Servitude and seems destined for a life below the stairs. But fate intervenes when she is packed off to a small and secretive Duchy of Elffinberg, to serve as a lady's amid to the lately orphaned Grand Duchess.

Pattern's young mistress is excitable and paranoid, yet despite their differences the two girls forge an unlikely friendship that quickly turns into battle for survival. For picture-perfect Elffinberg hides an extremely dark and deadly secret...

Armed only with her trusty sewing basket, a bottle of smelling salts and J. Bulcock's inestimable guide, The Duties of a Lady's Maid, Pattern will need all her wits and resourcefulness when dealing with above-stairs conspiracies and below-stairs intrigue. Darning stockings have never been so dangerous.

Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

I received this book whilst job shadowing at Pan Macmillan's Johannesburg offices. This book will always be a remembrance of my time there. But anyways, I am so excited to jump into this book because it sounds so interesting and good. I expect a lot of action and a mystery that requires solving. I always love middle-grade mystery books because they just end up being a lot of fun!

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for providing me with a copy of this book! ust a small disclaimer for those reading this review. I have received this book in exchange for an honest review. Please note that this does not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.

Writing Thoughts:

The writing was light, fluffy and inclusive. The author makes it feel as if you are in the same room as Pattern and the Grand Duchess. The dialogue was full and had a certain amount of sass in it. The writing wasn't too vivd but it was easy to imagine this wonderful kingdom. 

Plot Thoughts:

The plot in this book was so good. There some moments where I wished things would speed up a bit but other than that, it was good! It was always full of action and little lessons that children could learn. I loved that sarcasm was used when it came to certain topics such as girls having ideas was dangerous. The author is clearly trying to empower young girls. The plot lends itself to the concept quite well. 

Character Thoughts:

I really adored the main characters, Pattern and the Grand Duchess. The were fun and full of life. They were also wise and seemed to have interesting thoughts on friendships and how people should be treated. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, full of lessons to learn and had a great cast of characters. It was entertaining and was only slow in some parts. The plot was well thought through and the characters were well rounded. This is the perfect book of young children. Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan South Africa for sending me a copy of this book to review!

Yours in Reading,



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