Alice Éclair Spy Extraordinaire: A Recipe for Trouble, by Sarah Todd Taylor – published by Nosy Crow

There’s such a buzz about this book at the moment! My fellow bloggers have been raving about this scrumptious new spy series and now I know why – Alice Éclair really is a legend in the baking!

I wanted some pure escapism to officially start the school holidays and with my appetite well and truly whetted by so many superb reviews I couldn’t wait to dig in. Alice Éclair was just the ticket with a cherry on top; I was completely whisked away by France’s newest spy on her first mission and devoured this delectable detective drama in one sitting.

Packed with pastry-fuelled peril and more than a pinch of Parisian glamour, A Recipe for Trouble launches what promises to be a superb new spy series from Sarah Todd Taylor, the author of Max the Detective Cat. Climb aboard the Sapphire Express for an action-packed adventure – Agatha Christie eat your heart out! Secret ciphers, jewel thieves and an enemy agent – there’s non stop thrills and spills, red herrings and pulse-pounding action atop the majestic steam train to rival a 007 movie.

Baker by day, spy by night – Alice Éclair leads an exciting double life. She whips up a storm as genius pastry chef in the kitchen of the family bakery Vivre Comme Éclair, but in the blink of an eye swaps her Mille-Feuille for Morse Code working undercover as a spy.

For months, Alice has been receiving notes outlining secret missions she must complete. The mysterious source of these is unknown but one thing is clear; Alice is being trained to track down master spy La Renarde. Alice must go undercover and sneak aboard France’s most glamorous train, the Sapphire Express in order to intercept the illusive villain.

Disguised as a pastry chef, Alice blags her way aboard as Sapphire Express staff. The kitchen is a prime place for spying as she is able to observe the passengers in the dining car and bar and innocently eaves-drop on conversations whilst serving her exquisite creations.

As the train steams through the French countryside, Alice must work hard to discover which passenger is the duplicitous enemy agent. She befriends Penelope, a young lady on her way to finishing school who is keen to do some detective work of her own, but as Alice digs deeper everyone on the train seems to be hiding something…

Alice can trust no-one and armed with her wits, her whisk and her will to succeed, the pressure is on to crack the case. When the enemy realises the net is closing in on them, it spells a whole new level of danger for Alice and there’s some hair-raising moments dangling over the edge of the high speed train, the rails thundering beneath…

This is one of those books you become thoroughly immersed in and I was completely unaware of the passage of time whilst reading. Apart from a few growls from my stomach, triggered by the many mouth-watering pastries mentioned throughout the story, nothing could take my attention away from this treat of a tale – perfect for children in Year 4 upwards.

A Recipe for Trouble publishes on 4th August.

The greatest of thanks to Nosy Crow for sending me a beautiful review copy of this absolutely brilliant book.

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