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Blog Tour Review - Looking for Lucie by Amanda Addison

 Blog Tour Review - Looking for Lucie by Amanda Addison "Where are you really from?" It's a question every brown girl in a white-washed town is familiar with, and one that Lucie has never been able to answer. All she knows is that her mother is white, she's never met her father, and she looks nothing like the rest of her family. She can't even talk about it because everyone says it shouldn't matter! Well, it matters to Lucie and-with her new friend Nav, who knows exactly who he is-she's determined to find some answers. What do you do when your entire existence is a question with no answer? You do a DNA test. Looking for Lucie is a fascinating look at what it is like growing up mixed race in contemporary Britain. It's a story about family and culture, and what they can mean for different people, as Lucie tries to figure out where she fits into the world. She doesn't look like any of the rest of her family, and her ethnicity is impossible to figure o

Review - Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! by Sarah Taylor Todd

Review - Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! by Sarah Taylor Todd

Alice Éclair, genius baker by day and talented spy by night, is on a dangerous mission aboard France’s most glamorous train, the Sapphire Express. Alice must sneak on board disguised as a pastry chef and discover which passenger is a duplicitous enemy agent. But everyone on the train seems to be hiding something…

Armed with only her wits, her whisk and her will to succeed, the pressure is on for Alice to crack the case!

I adored Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire!

Alice is a young girl in a Parisian bakery, and from our first meeting her it is clear that she is incredibly talented at patisserie work. The descriptions of her creations are unbelievable and mouth-watering.  But there's so much more to Alice than just incredibly elaborate cake and pastry baking. She's also a spy!

It's a weird combination of ideas, to be sure, but somehow Sarah Taylor Todd makes it work brilliantly and the whole thing just comes across as truly inspired. There are links built in throughout, from Alice mapping out a floorplan for a heist style mission in icing on her workbench to using her patisserie skills to secure access to suspects in a spy chase across France! These links feel natural and organic and just incredibly clever. Her knowledge of baking helps her to be a better spy in some often quite surprising ways. 

The spy elements are thrilling too. Some real nail-biting escapes and a thoroughly intriguing mystery, as Alice is sent to track down a dangerous spy smuggling vital paperwork on a train. As with all good spy mysteries there are twists and shocks and double-crosses and surprises the whole way. 

The train itself, the Sapphire Express, is just gorgeous. I love how sumptuously it is described to us, as Alice explores more of its extravagant luxury. It really helps evoke the atmosphere of that pre-war period in vivid detail. 

Alice herself is a really endearing heroine, the cast of characters around her are vivid, well depicted and fun, and this whole book just works really well, taking an odd little idea and making something really fun and unique out of it. 

Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire est un triomphe! (does that make my early copy an arc de triomphe?)

Spies, mysteries and cake? A definite five moons!


Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! by Sarah Taylor Todd is published on 4th August 2022 by Nosy Crow.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


  1. I've just started my copy and suddenly I found I was 13 chapters in. A delightful read as you say. Equisite descriptions and a flare, nay, passion for style, music and, dare I say cakes, that clearly comes from Sarah's own experiences. I can see why you gave this a 5 rating!


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