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A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths - Review

Saturday, May 25, 2019

You know I'm a huge fan of Elly Griffiths' books, I've read all of her Ruth Galloway novels and her Stephens and Mephisto novels, so I was interested when I read that she was publishing a book for middle grade called A Girl Called Justice. So I ordered it from Wordery recently and thought I'd read it.

It is going to be compared to Robin Stevens' Detective Society novels, which you know I'm a huge fan of, so I'l start by saying that I don't think it is as good as those. It's not as fully realised or fleshed out - I didn't get as sucked into Justice's world as I do Hazel's and Daisy's. I will say that if you like Robin Stevens' books - or know a tween that does - you'd probably like this.

At the beginning of the novel Justice, aged 12, is going to Highbury school for the first time. Until then she's been homeschooled by her mum, but her mum has recently died (which kind of annoyed me, because why do mothers always have to die, and also Justice didn't tell anyone, which struck me as stupid on her behalf) so her dad, who is a QC, has decided to send her to school. The school is on the edge of Romney Marsh and as soon as Justice arrives she's determined that it is a creepy prison and that she won't escape.

Upon arrival she discovers that a maid, Mary, has recently died. She's sure there's a mystery and sets to unravel it. She is put in a dormitory with four girls, one of who she immediately decides she dislikes. She puts herself in some pretty stupid decisions in order to find out if Mary was murdered, and throughout I just found her so gung ho that I couldn't really get into the book. It just missed the mark for me, which I found really sad, because I wanted to love it. I will probably read the next one, if there is another one, because I hope these are just teething pains as Elly comes to grips with the nuances of writing for younger people.

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