The Silkworm book review

It’s been a few weeks since I have posted, but I can assure you that I have still been reading!  I have a few books waiting to be reviewed and this is one of the best…


The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith is the second novel in the Cormoran Strike mystery series.  For those of you that may not be aware, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.  Though clearly an adult series, the style of writing is just as delicious as the wizarding series that gained Rowling so much notoriety.  Much like any mass market paperback mystery, The Silkworm and it’s predecessor The Cuckoo’s Calling are very formulaic.  But what sets this series apart from one that you would typically pick up at an airport gift shop is the beautiful prose contained within its pages.  J.K. Rowling has such a knack for creating vivid imagery that readers tend to lose themselves in her settings.

Set in the bitter cold of snowy London, private investigator Cormoran Strike is hired by a woman to find her husband who has disappeared among mysterious circumstances.  Owen Quine is a second rate writer who has seen little success.  When his latest book is released amidst major controversy, it seems as though Quine may earn himself some infamy. Quine has managed to insult just about everyone he’s ever encountered in his life in his outlandish tale.  When he turns up murdered, it appears as though everyone in the book is a suspect.

Private investigator Cormoran Strike, a down on his luck former military amputee, leaves no stone unturned in his quest to find Quine’s killer.  If you love a good mystery and have a deep appreciation for literature, then you will love the Cormoran Strike series.  If you’ve already enjoyed the first two novels in the series, then I’m sure you will be thrilled to know that the third book Career of Evil is set to be released next week!

The Thief Lord Book Review

A few weeks ago, I took a load of books in to sell at Half-Price Books.  Surprisingly, I bought nothing for myself, but ended up with a great stack of books for Grace for only $12 and change.

Half-price book haul

I have my eye on a few of these books, but decided to start with Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord.  The city of Venice creates an enchanting backdrop for this delightful middle grade reader, which features a gang of orphaned misfit children.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run.  Their mother recently passed away and their aunt is only interested in adopting the adorable and angelic Bo, who is just five years old.  Fearing that he will never see his brother again, twelve year old Prosper takes Bo and they flee to the enchanting city of Venice.  The two boys are rescued from the streets by another group of children who live in an abandoned movie theater.  The group of misfit children is taken care of by their leader 13 year old Scippio.  Scippio calls himself the Thief Lord and claims to steal from the city’s richest residents.

Prosper and Bo’s aunt hires private investigator Victor Getz to find the runaways.  Unaware of the lengths the children would go to to protect each other, Victor reluctantly agrees to take on the case.

Once Victor is on the case, the children’s already unstable lives are turned upside down.  The children feel a strong sense of betrayal when the Thief Lord’s true identity is discovered.  With a payout too good to be true, the children agree to take on one last heist.  

The Thief Lord is a book that is filled with mystery and adventure!  It is reminiscent of a Peter Pan tale, except in this story the hero wants nothing more than to grow up.  In the end, it is two adults who find themselves the unlikely heroes to the Thief Lord and his band of misfit orphans.

More great middle reader books from Cornelia Funke: