The official blurb for the book begins as follows:
Verity Sparks is a thirteen-year-old orphan working as a milliner in Victorian London. But Verity is no ordinary girl; she has an almost perfect memory and possesses the talent of Teleagtivism. She can easily find things that are lost! When Verity is wrongly accused of theft and dismissed from her job, she goes to live with the Plushes, a slightly Bohemian family who run a Confidential Inquiry Agency. Verity helps them solve cases and slowly becomes one of the family. But patches of the truth about her past begin to surface, along with the special talent that Professor Plush is helping her explore…
And now, here’s what herself has to say about it…
Who doesn’t want them to know the truth about Verity Sparks?
This story opens with Verity Sparks, milliner’s apprentice and heroine of the piece. Ms Green creates a delightful blend of adventure and mystery; it moves from feathers and rubies to the truth about her past. Every corner heralds another adventure for Verity. When someone tries to frame her for a dreadful crime, Verity is caught up in a world of intrigue and investigations. Everything leads closer and closer to her past, whether it is a psychic reading or imperial evidence.
The story has as many twists, red herrings and false leads as some of the investigation agencies’ cases. With enough frightening situations and strange occurrences to make most people give up entirely, or at the very least put it off until after a very long holiday, Verity Sparks and her itchy fingers manage to get through. Everything is connected, but some of it is short circuiting.
The first time I read this book, the list of suspects I had was almost as long as the book itself. The plot is thicker than pea soup, and it was one of the best mysteries I had read in a long time. Verity is a very likable heroine, and I found it very easy to get absorbed in the story. I also found that it had excellent re-read value. It also taught me that itchy fingers aren’t always a bad thing.
This is a very engaging story, and anyone who likes mystery and adventure will enjoy this. It is a charming romp that I fell in love with, and I think that readers of all ages will feel the same.
(The publishers recommend it for readers 10+)