Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things)

Written by Paula Brackston
Review by Rebecca Cochran

This is the second novel in a planned series. Readers should be sure to pick up a copy of The Little Shop of Found Things prior to reading this, as the story picks up directly after the conclusion of the first book.

Xanthe, a time spinner, is now safely back from 17th-century England. In the present, though, when a copper chocolate pot begins to “sing” to her, Xanthe realizes that her time-traveling adventures are not complete. She must go back in time to help Samuel, the man she loves, from an evil man, who turns out to be a time traveler as well. Spinning is a bit more complicated this time, as she becomes entangled in a number of people’s lives, including mysterious Mistress Flyte, who knows about time spinners and a special book that could help Xanthe solve her problems. Jumping back and forth between past and present, Xanthe struggles to keep her time-traveling adventures secret from everyone. This makes it difficult, especially as she hates lying to her mother, and she’s also starting to have feelings for someone in the present, all the while attempting to save Samuel.

Once again, Brackston has created a delightful time-traveling tale. While the story is more about Xanthe and her secrets, there is still a fair amount of historical detail and insight surrounding 17th-century English life. Detail abounds in both scenery, fashion, and the smells of the chocolate house. Xanthe is a strong protagonist with a likable character. Because the novel ends with a cliffhanger, one anxiously awaits the next installment, especially to see how her new romance progresses.