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The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #1)
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The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

(The Sinclair’s Mysteries #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,958 ratings  ·  297 reviews
You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK C
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by Egmont
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Popular Answered Questions
Mollie Fredrickson I suppose 9-11/middle school, but I am 24 and love it.
Deirdre Yes, something valuable is stolen, the only witness is shot, and Sophie (our heroine) and her friends have to solve the mystery.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,958 ratings  ·  297 reviews

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Stacey (prettybooks)
This is a review of both The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth, but does not contain spoilers about either.

I'm a big fan of middle grade mysteries, so The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow was pretty high on my TBR. I've always enjoyed ornate department stores. I love taking my time, carefully discovering the delights each floor has to offer (I must admit, the food hall is a firm favourite). Sinclair's, a luxury department store in London's Piccadilly, is the p
Robin Stevens
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a delicious cross between Philip Pullman's Sally Lockheart series and Mr Selfridge, a warm, fun and extremely mysterious book that sweeps you up into a glittering world of department-store marvels. Full of history, mystery and plenty of BUNS.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A splendid adventure replete with evil villains, dastardly deeds, brave heroes and sticky iced buns. As sweet and exciting a book as I could hope for. Delightful good fun.
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
You are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of Sinclair's department store... a splendid adventure awaits you....

This is just a really delightful book to read. For children/YA, but I thought I'd take a trip back to memory lane, this being the type of book I loved to read as a kid. Being a big fan of Edith Blyton's 'Five' (have to reread!). This book was recommended to me in Waterstone's, but I doubted and left it in the store. Next visit, I just couldn't resist it. Cover is really c

The story excels in its descriptions of the fictitious Sinclair's Department Store in London (based on Selfridge's Dept. Store, right down to the enigmatic, charismatic pop-star of an owner) but it failed to be a captivating mystery. Most of the clues were dropped on one page, only to be solved swiftly and miraculously by one of the characters on the very next page, leaving very little for the reader to try to puzzle out. And though a few of the "big reveals" were surprises to me, it wa
Nicole Burstein
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
So, this book. THIS BOOK. Seriously, possibly one of my biggest joys of the year so far.

It reminded me of a London I always dreamed about. When I was very little my Grandma used to take me on days out in the West End, and we'd often end up in a fancy hotel or Harrods and she'd tell me about the London of her youth. I know that my grandma is definitely not old enough to remember London in the 1910s, and yet still, I was reminded of it. When Sophie first encounters Sinclairs, I remember first vis
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This book in one sentence? Nancy Drew in a department store.
Katerina Kondrenko
6.5 out of 10

It reminds me of my favorite children detectives from a old times. This book is nicely decorated and written, so if you want a piece of teen-ish mystery in historical colors - go ahead)
ღ Ruqs ღ
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-reads, 2018
This book is such an enjoyable book. The setting. The characters. The plot. EVERYTHING IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

things I liked about it:

it was really well-written
the whole setting!! Sinclair’s department store is sooo lovely to read about!
the characters (Sophie… and Lil!!)
the plot (ahhh.. it will suck you right in)

“I commend you on your efforts. Really I do. You have surprised me, and that does not happen very often.”

Sophie Taylor is someone you can relate to from the beginning, and Lil (Lillian) Rose is
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is like a slice of perfect cake: light, fluffy, delicious and ideal to enjoy when curled up with a nice up of tea.

I was lured towards this book by the delightful, gold-embossed cover. Inside, the story is also peppered with cute illustrations. And "cute" and "delightful" are good words for this story. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is what you get if you mash together Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, Sherlock Holmes and set the action in a glittering London department store at the s
Amelia Talbot
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sophie is working for Sinclair's and the big opening is coming up. All helping hands are needed. Everyone has been wanting for this. Sophie needs this job and she gets tangled up in a big clump of danger. Why would someone want to ruin the store when it seems that everyone can't wait? Sophie quickly makes friends and competes against the other snobby shop girls, who try to make he look bad at everything. But Sophie knows she can do it because she is a hard working independent woman.

This is proba
Jada Coburn
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this book was really good. It takes place in 1909 and things were very different then. If you like a good mystery this book is for you!
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
**4.5 stars**

Originally posted at:

This book was part of the large stack that Pansing sent me. I’d never heard of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow before, but it sounded really intriguing so I decided to pick it up. This book was such a delight! I love historical-fiction and I love mystery–growing up I would be the kind of child that would read Enid Blyton books endlessly, so this was the perfect revival. It was like an amazing mashup of The Grand Buda
Suze Lavender
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Because of some bad luck Sophie has to find a job and that means her childhood is over all of a sudden. Fortunately she finds a position at Sinclair's, a department store. She wants to do well and she's pretty, so not every girl she's working with is friendly to her. When someone steals a precious artefact from the store Sophie has to find out what happened. It will be very important for her future. Fortunately she has friends she can count on who are helping her to find out more.

The Mystery of
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-authors
3.5 Stars

Sophie Taylor is an orphan, formally of good standing she is now working at Sinclair’s Department Store. The most famous department store in the world they say and it isn’t even open yet. Teased by the shop girls for being too high and mighty Sophie is glad when she finally makes not one friend but two. Lilian Rose one of the Captain Girls and Billy. Helping Billy out of trouble is what leads to Sophie being in trouble.

While Sophie is the main focus for most of the book the third-person
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book!! It was a great Victorian detective romp with two strong lead female characters - Sophie and Lil.

If you like Mr Selfridge and The Paradise you will love this - it's set in a large London department store (Sinclair's) where the namesake's precious jewels are set to go on display in the grand Exhibition Hall for the opening night when Mr Edward Sinclair's priceless clockwork sparrow goes missing. It's up to our two heroines along with Billy, an apprentice porter, and Joe, a for
Chicco Padovan
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Londra, 1909. La gentile clientela è la benvenuta ai magazzini Sinclair, l'emporio più rinomato della città. Se poi ci scappa il morto, non abbiate timore! Sophie, la giovane commessa del reparto modisteria, sembra avere un fiuto innato nell'individuare il colpevole di furti e delitti…

Che romanzo delizioso! Bei personaggi, ambientazione affascinante, trama avvincente. Da tempo non mi capitava un libro in grado di tenermi incollato alle pagine – la scena in cui Sophie origlia la conversazione de
Mariah Mead
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a fabulous read. I loved it. It was a mystery, obviously, but it had a dreamy feel to it unlike any other mystery I've read. The characters are most likeable and the whole idea of 'Sinclair's' (department store) was so... well, I don't know, just so exciting and perfect. I am giving this book five stars because it really deserves it. :)
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm a bit disappointed. :( I was expecting a much more interesting mystery. Still, this is a book for a younger audience, but I feel they also deserve better mystery books than this one. I liked the descriptions of the department store (everybody liked them as far as I can see from the other reviews), but a mystery book does not solely consists of great descriptions. I didn't like characters that much either. Sophie is rather without identity, Lil is a typical carefree gal, I didn't learn a thin ...more
Melissa Souza
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cosy-mystery
A delightful read. I loved the characters and overall story. It was well paced and had many plot twists. I wasn't bored one bit. The writing was exceptional. The way Sinclair's was described was just beautiful. I also really loved the wonderful illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. I definitely recommend giving this book a shot. You won't regret it :)
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely ADORED this book!

Will try and write a better review soon, but suffice to say READ IT! It's just so fantastic!
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is just the sort of book I would've loved as a middle schooler: a historical mystery with a courageous heroine and hints of future romance. As an adult, it feeds my delight in Edwardian-era Britain and a Mr. Selfridge- and The Paradise-driven hunger for Edwardian-era departments stores, in particular. I especially appreciate that the book's lone sensible adult applauds the heroine's ingenuity and intelligence and encourages her to pursue a career that makes the most of them, however unconve ...more
Jannah (Cloud Child)
A very fun romp which keeps me wanting more.
The characters were fun and the settinf was quite beautifully described. The only thing is there was a little bit of predictability to the plot and character stereotypes. But it was written well enough. I can see that the series will further the unexplained and resolve it in time and Im impatient to know more.
Jamie-Lee Turner
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mg
This review was originally posted on:

A fashionably old-fashioned charmer of a book reminiscent of classics such as Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton, you’ll find yourself caught up in the elegantly mysterious world of the Sinclair’s department store!

This book is fun, exciting, extremely mysterious and overall, delightful!

It reminded me of Phillip Pullman’s Sally Lockheart Series and Robin Steven’s A Murder Most Unladylike series and since I was waiting for First
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderful detective story set in a London department store. I really enjoyed it and felt for Sophie the whole way through.

My only niggle is that Sophie and Lil are hailed as the heroines in the blurb but no mention is made of Billy, the young porter who is an integral part of the story, possibly more so than Lil.

I would recommend this to all who love a good detective story and will definitely be reading the next. 4.5 stars
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fantastic first book in what I can only imagine will be a brilliant children's series.
Full of mystery, fun and history.
A lovely story, with wonderful characters that had me entranced from page one.
I'm 19 years old, and you can bet that I'll be reading the rest of these books when they come out.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mystery with codes (only a few, but CODES) focusing on working kids at the turn of the last century. In a fancy department store. Tons of fun.
Kim Tyo-Dickerson
A middle grade British mystery series opener with the lovely poignancy of A Little Princess. Young Sophie has lost her home, fortune, and family when her father dies abroad. She is suddenly without prospects despite her upper class education and must find a way to fend for herself after the family seat and all its luxuries are sold. She lucks upon the opportunity to work as shop girl in the millinery department of an opulent new department store, Sinclair's, in London. There she finds herself ou ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
When I read the description for The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, I knew my love of mysteries paired such a unique setting of an elegant Department store in the Edwardian era was too delicious to pass up. So even though this book isn't currently published in the United States, I ordered a copy from the UK, eager to read it. The setting of the lavish London Sinclair's Department store not only delivered as promised, it exceeded my expectations-- it was utterly magical, a lush and delightful f ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
What a charming mystery novel which was a great mix of Mr Selfridge meets Famous Five.

Set in the early 1900's this mainly follows a young woman, Sophie, who has started working in one of the many departments within the fictional Sinclair's department store. There she meets Lilian Rose ('Lil') who works as a human mannequin to show off some of the items on sale, as well as Billy who is an apprentice porter and loves to read mystery novels and ignore the world around him. One day an item from the
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Katherine Woodfine is the author of the bestselling SINCLAIR'S MYSTERIES series, beginning with THE CLOCKWORK SPARROW which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Until 2015 she worked for reading charity Book Trust on projects including the Children’s Laureate and YALC. She now combines writin

Other books in the series

The Sinclair’s Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #2)
  • The Mystery of the Painted Dragon (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #3)
  • The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock (The Sinclair's mysteries #4)
“The two of you make rather a resourceful pair, you know... I know intelligence and courage when I see it... If you ever find yourselves tired of Sinclair's, come and find me. I think there could be quite a different sort of career out there for a couple of young ladies like you. - Detective McDermott, to Sophie and Lil” 3 likes
“I commend you on your efforts. Really I do. You have surprised me, and that does not happen very often. - The Baron, to Sophie” 2 likes
More quotes…