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Emma Carroll declares on the cover that this is an 'absolute joy of a read'. I couldn't agree more. 'The Secret Starling' is a wonderful book; classic in tone and to savour as a classic. This is the kind of story you'd discover as a child and continue to love as an adult. Timeless and delightful.

Clara Starling has lived in an old manor house on the Yorkshire moors all her life, with her stern and uncaring uncle as her guardian and educator. That is until, one day, house staff begin to disappear, artworks and belongings are sold off, and then Clara herself is left abandoned in the local town to fend for herself. What can she do? When a boy called Peter and his cat Stockwell turn up, everything begins to change...

Judith Eagle is such a discovery. She writes so well with a voice both familiarly classic and refreshingly new. Reading it is like sitting with a hot cocoa by a fire on a rainy day: cosy, atmospheric and joyful all at once! Setting the story in the 1970s imbues 'The Secret Starling' with a sense of warmth in nostalgia; a harking back to simpler times. The characters are a delight; fully-formed and alive on the page like any from the Famous Five, and any from classic tales of friendship and family. Eagle's skill is in describing settings and character quirks in such charming detail. With the simplest of sentences Eagle can bring a smile to the reader's face, while the writing just flows with warmth and intrigue. I simply adored this with all its twists, turns and with its enormous sense of fun and heart.

If you're a fan of those classic adventure mystery books you'll love this. If you want to escape our crazy modern times, then open this glorious book and canter off with Clara and Peter into the 1970s. You won't be able to put it down! 

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-secret-starling/judith-eagle/9780571346301