Set in 1932, Los Angeles Sparky is a street kid, her mother had died on one of her birthdays, and she was left in the care of her cousins, but one day when she returned from school they had moved and left her to her own devices. It is now her 11th birthday and she has saved up a box of sweets to celebrate the occasion, carrying her box of treasure to her favourite seat. She looks forward to eating the candy. But as she reaches the seat she sees someone is already sitting there, a young child, but when Sparky speaks there is no reply, she touches the girl but she is cold, sparky puts it down to the fact that she has been sleeping outside all night, it’s only when she turns the girls head round that she realises she is dead. Sparky screams dropping her box of candy on the floor, unfortunately the box has her name written on it, it also says she will kill anyone who eats her candy.
Sparky finds herself a wanted person, all the kids who know her are telling the police all of her hideouts, she has one person she can trust Bobby, although he annoys her, especially when he says she’s his girl and that they will be married one day. With everyone after her Sparky has to find somewhere to hide where no one will look for her. Then she thinks of Creepy House, a place where all the kids have said a mad woman who soaks in the blood of children lives, she also has a Leopard who eats children, and lives with a goblin. She makes her way through the brambles and prickly bushes to get into the house, where she starts hunting for food. It’s then that she meets the Goblin, and his Mademoiselle.
A mystery story aimed I would guess at YA, I thoroughly enjoyed this read, I started it late Friday afternoon and found myself reading it until I had finished at about 3 in the morning. The characters are so great, Sparky is a tough little girl, never having known what it’s like to be cared for, she is suspicious of everyone. She has had to provide for herself and now with a bounty on her head and with every police officer looking for her and for the large reward. Sparky knows she has to some how clear her name. Bobby is prepared to help her, but she doesn’t want to get him into trouble. I loved Tootsie, the actress who was famous until the talking pictures arrived, now the acting roles have dried up and she seems a little eccentric at times, but she is such a character. Goblin, who is obviously not a goblin looks after Tootsie, making sure she is always happy, praising her. Making her feel like she is still as famous as she was. They both want to help Sparky clear her name and both get into a few scrapes along the way. But it is such fun.
As you read the descriptions of the homes from 1932, you feel like you are there. The characters are all three dimensional, narrated by Sparky, as she tells of her escapades, you get totally drawn in.
So who killed the little girl? Why? That’s the mystery and it keeps you entertained from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I’m sure it would appeal to many young mystery readers out there, it will possibly appeal to older readers as well I certainly found it entertaining.
Thank you to #RosalindBarton for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review. I certainly give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ our if ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighbourhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it tougher than most. There may be something to this 13th business. That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder. If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price in my head got bigger by the day.
It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I end up dangling from the hangman’s rope.
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