Before the train has left the station, Victorian England’s most accomplished new detective already is on a suspect’s trail, and readers will be delighted to travel along.
Myrtle Hardcastle has no desire to go on a relaxing travel excursion with her aunt Helena when there are More Important things to be done at home, like keeping close tabs on criminals and murder trials. Unfortunately, she has no say in the matter. So off Myrtle goes—with her governess, Miss Judson, and cat, Peony, in tow—on a fabulous private railway coach headed for the English seaside.
Myrtle is thrilled to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Bloom, a professional insurance investigator aboard to protect the priceless Northern Lights tiara. But before the train reaches its destination, both the tiara and Mrs. Bloom vanish. When Myrtle arrives, she and Peony discover a dead body in the baggage car. Someone has been murdered—with Aunt Helena’s sewing shears.
The trip is derailed, the local police are inept, and Scotland Yard is in no rush to arrive. What’s a smart, bored Young Lady of Quality stranded in a washed-up carnival town to do but follow the evidence to find out which of her fellow travelers is a thief and a murderer?
About the Author
Elizabeth C. Bunce grew up on a steady diet of Sherlock Holmes, Trixie Belden, and Quincy, M.E., and always played the lead prosecutor in mock trial. She has never had a governess, and no one has ever accused her of being irrepressible, but a teacher did once call her “argumentative”—which was entirely untrue, and she can prove it. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and their cats. You can find her online at elizabethcbunce.com.
"Each new revelation builds upon the prior discovery until the tense, wonderfully eerie climax on a ramshackle amusement pier. The sleuthing is heartwarming and funny, featuring strong women and girls, packed with characters who genuinely care about each other. A delightful heroine and an exciting mystery." —Kirkus Reviews
"Readers who enjoyed Premeditated Myrtle will rejoice in this second installment featuring the plucky protagonist, her beautiful and multitalented governess Miss Judson, Peony the cat, and a whole new cast of strong female characters. [How to Get Away with Myrtle] will delight young Sherlock Holmes aficionados. This deeply plotted sequel is an additional purchase for collections serving the most precocious readers who long for a fast-paced mystery where women shine." —School Library Journal
"Bunce fully utilizes the story’s classic mystery settings (the train, a grand hotel full of unusual guests, and a small town of memorable characters) as she spiritedly chucks red herrings at readers and Myrtle alike. Humor and wit make the narrative sparkle, and, happily, Myrtle is as irrepressible as ever.” —Booklist
Praise for Premeditated Myrtle:
A 2021 Edgar Award Nominee, Best Juvenile A BookPage Best Book of 2020: Middle Grade A Mighty Girl's 2020 Books of the Year
"Ajoyful thing to behold. Set in Victorian England, this mystery gleefully overturns sexist norms and celebrates independent women of intellect, with Myrtle Hardcastle leading the charge." —Booklist, starred review
"Bunce crafts a truly captivating murder mystery, throwing in a delicious mix of twists, red herrings, and relatives excluded from the family fortune. Myrtle is an entertaining protagonist, not afraid to get her hands dirty, sneak into mansions after dark to find a clue, or call out sexism of men toward her scientific interests or the racism toward her governess. The book will make readers yearn for more of Myrtle's (mis)adventures." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A saucy, likable heroine shines in a mystery marked by clever, unexpected twists." —Kirkus Reviews
"[A] clever and lively Victorian English village murder mystery... Bunce does an excellent job of making Myrtle the lead actor but gives her a strong set of (mostly female) supporters." —The Horn Book
"In the tradition of heroines like Flavia de Luce and Harriet the Spy, Myrtle is a fine example of the Victorian scientific female-smart, inquisitive and fearless. Written with a terrific mixture of humor and suspense, Premeditated Myrtle is a perfect read for any budding detective." —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Her Royal Spyness series