Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Today I’m coming to you with my stop on the Kidnap on the California Comet blog tour (find the full schedule here!) Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher (Feiwel and Friends) for providing me with finished copies of both this book, and the first book of the Adventures on Trains Series. I will be reviewing both of these books in this post! The fact that these were given to me by the publisher did not effect my rating/review in any way.
Book Title: Kidnap on the California Comet (Adventures on Trains #2) – and The Highland Falcon Thief (Adventures on Trains #1)
Author: M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 23, 2021 (for Kidnap on the California Comet)
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure
And now onto my reviews!
The Highland Falcon Thief
In The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1, a middle-grade series starter from MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, a young boy is swept up in an investigation to uncover the perpetrator of a jewel theft.
When eleven-year-old Harrison Hal Beck is forced to accompany his travel-writer uncle on the last journey of a royal train, he expects a boring trip spent away from video games and children his age.
But then Hal spots a girl who should not be on board, and he quickly makes friends with the stowaway, Lenny. Things get even more interesting when the royal prince and princess board for the last leg of the journey–because the princess’s diamond necklace is soon stolen and replaced with a fake! Suspicion falls on the one person who isn’t supposed to be there: Lenny.
It’s up to Hal, his keen observation, and his skill as a budding sketch artist to uncover the real jewel thief, clear his friend’s name, and return the diamond necklace before The Highland Falcon makes its last stop.
This was definitely different from most of the books that I usually read, but as I’ve been wanting to read more middle grade lately, so I was excited to try it. And I really enjoyed it! The story was really interesting and the mystery was very well developed throughout the story. The characters on the train were ridiculous and interesting, making them all prime suspects in the theiving of various jewels belonging to the passengers. Lenny and Hal worked really well together and the mystery kept me guessing until (almost) the end. There were delightful illustrations throughout the book, which I wasn’t expecting, but really enjoyed seeing.
It should also be noted that both of these books were published in the UK before being published in the US, and The Highland Falcon Thief takes place on a train trip around the UK, starting in London and making stops in places like Balmoral and Crewe. I really enjoyed learning more about geography and this book definitely made me miss traveling to Europe, which I did a lot before the pandemic. There were also lots of interesting facts about how trains work, including one really interesting scene about how steam engines work.
Overall I rated this book 4/5 stars and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for an interesting and fun mystery and adventure!
Kidnap on the California Comet
In this second book of the middle-grade Adventures on Trains series, amateur sleuth Hal Beck travels to the U.S. with his uncle to ride a famous train–the California Comet–and stumbles on a new mystery to solve, in M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman’s Kidnap on the California Comet…
After his adventure on the Highland Falcon, amateur sleuth Hal Beck is excited to embark on another journey with his journalist uncle. This time, they’re set to ride the historic California Comet from Chicago to San Francisco.
Hal mostly keeps to himself on the trip, feeling homesick and out of place in America. But he soon finds himself drawn into another mystery when the young daughter of a billionaire tech entrepreneur goes missing!
Along with new friends–spunky 13-year-old Mason and his younger sister, Hadley–Hal races against the clock to find the missing girl before the California Comet reaches its final destination.
In this book, Hal is back again, travelling on a different train and solving another, more complicated mystery. This book is much more fast paced than the first book, and the stakes of the mystery were much higher. I really loved how this book really emphasized Hal’s love for drawing as he draws the various passengers on the train. I also really liked the dynamic between Hal and his Uncle Nat in this book, and I thought that it was developed really well throughout this book.
This book also taught me a lot about trains in the United States. It was really interesting to see Hal go from a reluctant passenger in the first book, to an avid train lover in the second book. I thought that the abundance of new characters were really interesting, and I liked that the mystery was very different from the first book. This book was a bit darker than the first, but it still was a fun adventure. I really like how this series incorporates mystery, history, art, and fun characters in each book.
I also rated this book 4/5 stars and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series!
About the Authors
M. G. Leonard is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Beetle Boy books. She works as a freelance digital media producer for clients such as the National Theatre and Harry Potter West End. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two sons, all of whom are crazy about trains. She is the co-author of the Adventures on Trains series.
Sam Sedgman is a novelist, playwright, and award-winning digital producer. He works as a digital project manager for the National Theatre, where he also hosts and co-produces their podcast. He grew up with a railway line at the bottom of his garden and has been fascinated by trains ever since. He is the co-author of the Adventures on Trains series.
This is a US giveaway to win one set of both of the books in the Adventures on Trains Series. This giveaway opens on February 22, and closes on March 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM CST.
Have you read these books? What are some of your favorite middle grade adventures/mysteries? Let me know in the comments!
3 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Kidnap on the California Comet”
[…] The Highland Falcon Thief and Kidnap on the California Comet by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgemen – These books were really cute mysteries that I received from the publisher for a blog tour. Read my stop and reviews here! […]
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