Book Blitz | Book Review: Lady in Red by Tessa Buckley

Congratulations to Tessa Buckley for the book birthday of Lady in Red!

Read on to know what I thought about this MG mystery novel.

Lady in Red cover

Genre: MG mystery/detective

Publication date: October 28, 2019

Publisher: Matador

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Amazon India –


Pursuing the truth can be a dangerous game…

​School’s out for the summer, and Eye Spy Investigations have a new case – looking for Lady in Red, a lost masterpiece by Victorian painter, Gabriel Pascoe.

​The clock is ticking for Alex and Donna, because the artist’s house, Acacia Villa, where their friend Jake lives, is due to be demolished, and vital clues may be destroyed. And Alex has an additional problem: he is terrified of snakes, and Jake has a pet snake called Queenie…

​As the twins pursue their enquiries, they come up against the man who wants to demolish Acacia Villa. But Mr Mortimer is the godfather of their baby half-sister, Sophie, and criticising him could open up family rifts, which have only just healed.

​Then Queenie goes missing, setting in motion a disastrous train of events that will turn the search for Lady in Red into the twins’ most dangerous case yet.

My Thoughts

Picture a darker, more mature Secret Seven story (Enid Blyton) with many more adults involved–that’s how Lady in Red sounds.

The novel revolves around art theft, greed, and corruption but has all the delightful hallmarks of a middle grade book–the whip-smart children working their way around interfering adults, the secret adventures through the neighborhood, spying on bad people and catching clues that the adults inevitably miss.

I was transported to my childhood when I used to devour such books, breathlessly hanging on to every word.

I felt I was missing out on important information about the background of Alex and Donna and their unique family situation. For instance, they live with their father and grandmother and address their mother by her name instead of calling her “Mom.” The grandmother calls the mother “That Woman” and there’s a whole lot of bitterness between the divorced parents. So, I think it would help to read Books 1 and 2 first.

Overall, it is an enjoyable, snappy detective story for children around 10-13 years of age.

(Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my review copy!)

About Tessa Buckley

Tessa Buckley Author Photo

Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of  Eye Spy, the first in a series for 9-12 year olds about two teen detectives.

There are now two more books in the series: Haunted, which was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017, and Lady in Red. She lives by the sea in Essex and recently completed an Open University arts degree.​

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Purchase Links

Lady in Red  paperback

Lady in Red  ebook

Lady in Red ebook

Lady in Red        Ibooks

Lady in Red        Matador bookstore

One thought on “Book Blitz | Book Review: Lady in Red by Tessa Buckley

  1. Thank you, Satabdi, for the lovely review. ‘A darker, more mature Enid Blyton’ was exactly what I tried to write!

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