The Case of the Feathered Mask

Written by Holly Webb
Review by Arleigh Johnson

Maisey Hitchens, Victorian sleuth and boarding house maid, is back to solve another case! One of her grandmother’s tenants, Professor Tobin, is donating most of his collection of artifacts to the British Museum. Before everything is packed and ready, a thief breaks in and steals a rare and elaborate South American mask, leaving a few clues behind that Maisey quickly discovers. With her little dog, Eddie, in tow, Maisey and her friend George set off through the streets of London in search of an unlikely culprit. Meanwhile the professor is harassed by an ill-mannered museum worker, and the police watch the house for any further suspicious activity.

This beautifully illustrated chapter book, in a style similar to the Fancy Nancy series, is aimed at ages 7 – 10 years. Though the artwork is cutesy and the main character is a 12-year-old girl, the story will appeal to both genders, as the heart of the story is the origin of the mask and its mysterious disappearance. The supporting characters are a butcher’s boy, whom Maisey helped in the first book in the series, and several other boarders at the house who have also been featured in the other books.

Although the scenario may seem unlikely, it will appeal to imaginative kids, and adults who appreciate a neatly wrapped short story. The illustrations truly bring extra charm to the story, and a mention of Maisey’s father gives a clue to the next mystery for our clever sleuth.