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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
Contributor(s): Jones, Kelly
ISBN: 055353520X     ISBN-13: 9780553535204
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Deciding to become a spy after her father is killed and his money goes missing, Annis Whitworth uses her talent for sewing magical garments to open a dressmaking shop as a cover while she quietly searchs for her father's murderer.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Spies; Fiction.
Magic; Fiction.
Dressmaking; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017036686
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.92 lbs) 293 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
Orphaned and homeless in fashionable London after her father's death, Annis's eye for fashion and newly discovered magical talent for sewing "glamours" into cloth lead to her setting up a dressmaker's shop in the country. There she must navigate the polite hazards of society--as well as a perilous world of spies and double agents. Touches of magic and plenty of girl power make for a jauntily entertaining Regency-era adventure. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #6)
Secret messages, disguises, code names, and knife fights flit in and out of ballrooms and dressmakers' shops in this Regency-era adventure. After Annis Whitworth's father dies unexpectedly, leaving her orphaned and homeless in fashionable London, her curiosity about his life as a spy draws her into a world of peril and bravery. Annis's eye for fashion and newly discovered magical talent for sewing "glamours" into cloth lead to her setting up a shop in the country. There, Annis, with her indomitable aunt Cassia and trusty maid Millie, must navigate the polite hazards of Flittingsworth society as well as more deadly threats from mysterious double agents. Between sewing gowns and experimenting with magic, Annis tries to find time to convince the War Office that it could use the services of a young lady, especially since the very imprisonment of Napoleon is at stake. While touches of magic make disguises more convincing and transformations more beautiful, the story itself is less fantasy than it is historical fiction. The details of Regency life keep Annis's adventure jauntily entertaining even when badly behaved gentlemen and sinister thieves thicken the plot. With only a sprinkling of romance and plenty of girl power, the heroine's interests prove that bravery and style can go comfortably hand-in-hand. sarah berman Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 9 Up—A cross between Jane Austen dramas and Harriet the Spy, this delightful strong female—led title mixes historical fiction and spy mystery with a touch of magic to produce a story filled with adventure. Sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth leads a privileged existence in 19th-century London when she learns about her father's tragic death. Suspecting foul play, she sets out to discover the truth behind his mysterious accident and his peripatetic lifestyle. Placing herself on a dangerous path that reveals secrets she may not be prepared to hear, Annis, along with her daring maid, Millie, sets herself up as a disguised dressmaker in a suburb of London. Using her newfound talent to sew magical glamours, which create alternative identities, Annis goes to extremes to get the answers she wants. Though her aunt and guardian, Cassia, appears to be unaware of Annis's exploits, she reveals herself to be a larger part of the puzzle than Annis could ever have imagined. Rejecting conventions of the time period, Jones infuses her female characters with boldness, intelligence, and wit. The heroine is not shy about devouring food and has aspirations that do not involve marrying a rich man, making this a refreshing take on women in the 1800s. The quirky humor further enhances the book. VERDICT Teens will find this a perfect, modern introduction to Regency novels that portrays confident female role models. An excellent addition to high school libraries.—Karin Greenberg, Queens College, NY

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.