Released: February 7th, 2013
At the Wings & Co. Fairy Detective Agency, Emily Vole and her friends are beginning to worry. It's five months since their official opening and they still haven't had one case. Then local landowner Sir Walter Cross dies suddenly and mysteriously. The detectives suspect fairy meddling. And when Mr Rollo the tailor mysteriously loses everything and Pan Smith's wedding plans are ruined the night before her big day, they're convinced there must be magic at play. Now they have not one, but three pickled herrings to deal with! Can they solve the mystery of who is stealing people's luck before the meddling fairy goes too far?
Emily, Buster and Fidget are back in Three Pickled Herrings, the second instalment in Sally Gardner's excellent Wings and Co series. Almost as good as the first book, Operation Bunny, Three Pickled Herrings is laugh out loud funny, imaginative and utterly endearing.
When a man and his dog suddenly die and disappear, Wings and Co find themselves with two new cases that need immediate detective work. It seems a naughty fairy is behind the recent disturbances, but is that all that's going on? With the help of Fidget the giant cat and Buster the Grumpy, Emily sets out to solve the mystery of the three pickled herrings.
Sally Gardner introduces some fantastic new characters in this book, most notably Elvis the Elf. He's brought to life by David Roberts and his fantastic illustrations, and soon became my favourite. Aunt Lettice and Mr Rollo also get honourable mentions - I loved them both and hope they show up again in future books. I can't forget already established characters too, like the lamp and the keys. They steal any scene they're in, and the lamp has the coolest Moroccan slippers!
I haven't been this excited about a series of books for younger readers since I first discovered Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries. It helps that I already love fairies and fantasy creatures, but even so, Wings and Co is unbelievably good. It hits the right tone and humour, making it the perfect children's series. I hope there are many more books to come!