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Alice Éclair Spy Extraordinaire – A Spoonful of Spying

Authored by Sarah Todd Taylor
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd

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The second book in the Alice Éclair series is an exciting mystery featuring the intrepid junior spy and patisserie chef.

This book is set in Paris, at a time when the city is playing host to a World Fair. With enemy spies all around, Alice becomes involved in trying to track them and work out what they are planning to do. Alice and her mum are to have a stall at the Tastes of the World pavilion and it is here, the aeroplane exhibition and the Fashion pavilion that become the key locations in the investigation. As a number of French engineers go missing the need to get to the bottom of the plans becomes more pressing and it is a race against time to foil the enemies’ plans. Alice needs to use all her spying skills, together with her newly found friends, to work out how to stop the enemies getting hold of priceless information.

There are plenty of French references and locations and readers who have visited Paris will no doubt be able to recall and remember places they have seen. For readers who have not already visited it will provide an inspiration to find out about the city. The strong female characters in the story are powerful role models for the target audience: not only our main character Alice, but also Sophie who is an aerospace engineer. There are themes of perseverance, determination and courage. The importance of friends and collaboration is also key to the success of this mission.

I had not previously read the first in the series (A Recipe for Trouble) but this did not impact on my enjoyment of this standalone mystery. However, it has now encouraged me to the read the first instalment too. I would recommend this as a library book for independent reading in Key Stage 2 but it could also work as a shared class text for the same age group.