Alice in Readerland's Reviews > Alias Dragonfly

Alias Dragonfly by Jane Singer
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Apr 10, 12


Title: Alias Firefly
Author: Jane Singer
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publishing Date: November 2011
ISBN: 9781611940411
I received this title courtesy of NetGalley

“You might pass me on the street and not even know it.” Maddie tells us in chapter one, “I could be the one-armed beggar with a half-moon scar on her forehead, the orphan under the gas lamp selling wilted violets, or the young woman in crimson velvet awaiting her escort to one of President Lincoln’s White House balls.”

It’s 1861 and fifteen-year-old Maddie Bradford is about to become a Pinkerton spy.
Maddie can tell you how many roses are on the wallpaper of each wall of her aunt’s house when she walks in; Maddie also quickly finds her aunt’s gold wedding band. So of course she notices a suspicious exchange in the alley. And when she sees one of her Aunt’s boarders disguised as a clergyman and starts to piece together who he is, she makes him a deal: she’ll recount all the details of the exchange if he lets her meet Mr. Allan Pinkerton, the great detective.
And not only does Maddie get to meet Mr. Pinkerton, she gets to work for him.

Throughout the novel, Maddie proves her strength by masquerading as a boy, seeing through disguises, setting off to find her father who’s a soldier, and shooting.

‘“How well do you shoot?” Pinkerton asked.
Without waiting for an answer, I slid the revolver from the shawl pocket. At that moment, Mike threw a tobacco tin up in the air.
“Mind the cat!” Pinkerton snapped. I did not flinch. I fired. The bullet struck the tin. It tumbled through the air and landed on the floor.
I lowered the weapon.
“I hope the cat is all right, sir,” I said. “I like cats.”
“Well done, indeed,” said Pinkerton, a hint of a smile on his face. Of course, there never was a cat.’ –Alias Dragonfly, chapter thirteen

But what happens when Maddie receives her most dangerous mission yet, one that involves the infamous Little Rose? What is Nellie, Maddie’s Aunt’s servant, hiding? And who is PAN, (the reporter for the New York Tribune), really?

I heard that this book was the first in a series, and I can’t wait to see more of Maddie’s adventures!

Cynical Cindy Says:

The whole ‘dead sister’ subject didn’t really seem to mesh that well, but maybe that will be elaborated upon in later books in the series. I also wish it didn’t have such an open ending, but I suppose that was done to make way for the rest of the series.

The language was as rich as the historical setting and the plot was full of adventure. For a book filled with excitement and romance, all in a historical setting, read Alias Dragonfly!

3 out of 5 teacups.

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