Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dixie O'Day and the great diamond robbery by Shirley Hughes illustrated by Clara Vulliamy

Dixie O'Day and the great diamond robbery is the second book in this appealing junior series. You might remember I recently talked about Dixie O'Day in the fast lane.

This second installment does not disappoint.  Dixie and his faithful friend Percy set out for the Hotel Splendide.  It is indeed a splendid place but sadly our heroes are not given a warm welcome.  On their journey they were forced off the road and Dixie's car is now covered in dust and mud.  Their near traffic accident is caused on the road to the hotel by none other than the famous Peaches Miaow.  Dixie is totally unimpressed by her fame and entourage but Percy is besotted.

At dinner that night Peaches "swept into the dining room wearing a silver satin dress and a smile as dazzling as her diamond necklace."  As you will have guess from the title these are the diamonds that will be stolen.  On their second night at the hotel a robbery takes place.  Dixie and Percy have previously made friends with a well mannered gentleman named Mr Canteloe.  As they tour his home and venture into some tidal caves beneath his cellar they find the diamonds.  Now comes the dilemma. How will Percy, Dixie and Mr Canteloe prove they did not commit the robbery themselves?

My favourite part of this book comes near the end when the hotel staff return Dixie's car.  "I've had it cleaned and polished for you, Sir ... and may I say what a great pleasure it is to see a car like yours on the road these days."

As I said in my previous review there are some terrific little extras in this series.  The book opens with an interview :

"What do you always pack in your suitcase?
DIXIE : My hot-water bottle, a choice of smart ties and my copy of 100 country walks.
PERCY : Plenty of chocolate."

At the back of the book you will find sample pages from book 3, a quiz, a maze puzzle and a map of Brightsea - location of the Hotel Spendide.  This book is also just seven chapters - one for each night of the week perhaps.

In this review you can see inside the three books from this series.

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