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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  23,146 ratings  ·  2,861 reviews
England, 1976.

Mrs. Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined…
Hardcover, 1st edition, 453 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by The Borough Press
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  23,146 ratings  ·  2,861 reviews

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A quirky, moving and beautifully written tale of life in 1970s Britain... a delight from start to finish (Review Paula Hawkins)

Wonderful, magical story, exceptional read! The story centers around a street in an unnamed town or village in England somewhere. Grace and Tilly, two cute 10-year olds, play major parts in the story. It is the summer of 1976, a scorching hot summer and Mrs. Creasy has gone missing in the street. She disappeared. All neighbours are in turmoil and the avenue is alive with
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I felt very British in the reading of this book.
Palm Springs commercial photography
Yes, I am an idiot. If it has taken this long to figure that out you might can sit next to me.

Anyways it's England in 1976. It's hot. Very hot.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Did me telling you that a couple of times get on your nerves? Suck it up buttercup because this book tells you that fact a whole lotta times.
Palm Springs commercial photography
I threw in another one just to get you good and broke in! *cackles*

The story takes place on the Avenue where all the neighbors know everyone's business. Bu
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear this had such promise and for such a long stretch I truly thought I'd found one of those lovely little gems that perfectly blends the coming of age of a couple of plucky English Scout Finch's with a traditional Agatha Christie romp through the evil hiding in a lovely English country village.

Alas, what starts off as a promising story about a missing woman who may have known a few too many secrets about her fellow villagers suddenly and very randomly descends into total
Angela M
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something that appeals to me in a story told from a child's perspective. Maybe it's the innocent perceptions that are full of wisdom that the adults around them just don't always have or maybe it's their honesty and self awareness.

Mrs . Creasy has disappeared and ten year old Grace and her nearly ten year old delicate friend Tilly , decide they will find out what happened to her . They can do that and keep everyone in the neighborhood safe they believe , if they can find God. Instead t
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! So many laughs!
This was a coming of age story along with a whodunit story line.
This story takes us behind closed doors into the various homes and lives of the residents on one block in a town in England during a heatwave in the summer of 1976.
I think all will enjoy this one!
For two months in the extremely hot summer of 1976, the mystery of Mrs. Creasy’s disappearance from the Avenue occupies all the residents’ thoughts and energies. Not completely, though, because nine years before, a suspicious fire in the neighbourhood occurred and its embers still smolder beneath everyone’s thoughts and actions.

Grace Bennet, the main narrator of this story has a best friend named Tilly, and Grace says: ”I have known Tilly Albert for a fifth of my life. She arrived two summers ag
Diane S ☔
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
4+ When Mrs. Creasey disappears, 10 year old Grace and her slightly younger friend Tilly decide to investigate. After learning from the vicar that God is everywhere they decide that while they are looking that they will also look for God.

A heat wave, a cul-de-sac, a man who doesn't fit in, God in a drainpipe and secrets many, many secrets and two very entertaining young protagonists. The girls find out many things, not necessarily things that will solve the case, because in truth they do not hav
Giorgia ~ Reads
3 stars

What I’ve discovered in reading this book is that I should stick to things that I know I’ll like. I don’t think the book was bad it just wasn’t for me. I have this thing where I’ll jump on a recommendation regardless if it sounds like something I’d enjoy, just because I wanna try something new.

As the saying goes, you don’t known until you try. So, I tried (took me months) and I’ve discovered that books with a very British feel don’t do it for me. Books with teenage/children wannabe de
Mrs Creasy disappeared on a Monday. I know it was a Monday, because it was the day the dustbin men came, and the avenue was filled with a smell of scraped plates.
"Why do people disappear?"
The pastor looked over his shoulder ...
The voice came from the graveyard.

His expression...

Oh neverminnnnndddddddd, it was only Grace sitting behind a gravestone talking to him. He just did not see her!

Her parents said she was awkward, but she disagreed. She was more likely awkward to them. Yes, that's what
Yeah! My first Buddy Read...with Dana and it was a wonderful way to kick off a new experience of Buddy Reads. The title is what initially caught my eye, then the story had me adding it to my TBR where it probably would have remained forever if not for Dana suggesting a Buddy Read. I'm so glad she picked this one.

Told in alternating timelines, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is the story of one little town in England and the people who live there. Frankly, they are all nuts. It's part mystery. O
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Trouble With Goats and Sheep was lots of fun -- a good light read with some tangible emotions thrown in. It is really the story of a stretch of road in a town in England -- a few neighbours and their secrets. Set in 1976, the story is told primarily from the point of view of 10 year old Grace, who with her friend Tilly sets out to find God and why one of the neighbours has disappeared. From time to time, the story shifts points of view and we see things from the perspective of the various ad ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Mrs Creasy disappeared on a Monday.

I know it was a Monday, because it was the day the dustbin men came, and the Avenue was filled with a smell of scraped plates.

'What's he up to?' My father nodded at the lace in the kitchen window. Mr Creasy was wandering the pavement in his shirt sleeves. Every few minutes he stopped wandering and stood quite still, peering around his Hillman Hunter and leaning into the air as though he were listening for something.

'He's lost his wife.' I took anoth
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
5 beautiful, insightful stars!

This is probably the longest review I have ever written, but the moral of this story is so powerful, yet written in a light, fun way, it has stayed with me weeks after finishing it!! Also, it was a wonderful buddy read with my GR friend PorshaJo!! Thank you for reading it with me. It had sat on my shelves forever and I might not have ever gotten to it had we not decided to read it together - and what a beautiful story I would have missed out on!! This will definitel
Iris P
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for an inspirational story
Recommended to Iris P by: Barbara
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

★★★★ 4 charming stars!

"A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer"
Author Unknown


Grace and Tilly, the astute and inquisitive 10 year-old protagonists of The Trouble With Goats And Sheep, charmed me from the very beginning of this quirky story.

While I grew up thousands of miles away from England, the novel's nostalgic take of the 1970's was a big part of the allure for me as its narrative took me back to t
Jennie Campbell
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Curious Incident of the Wife in the Nighttime + Boo Radley + lashings of Angel Delight = The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.

It's narrated by a little girl who sounds more like Alan Bennett than a little girl. Grace manages to simultaneously be clever enough to make constant wry observations, and stupid enough to think that you can find God as if it's a game of hide and seek.

Grace's narration is interupted by chapters in which we visit various, largely indistinguishable neighbours, who provide
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Beautifully written, with real humour, and exquisite characterisation.

This book is hugely enjoyable and genuinely different from most whodunnits. The very English period details and aphorisms were so familiar, with some real gems:

They assumed I didn't understand the conversation, and it was much easier to let them think that. My mother said I was at an awkward age. I didn't feel especially awkward, so I presumed she meant it was awkward for them.'

So much of the dialogue and narrative could have
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
A wonderful debut novel.

Inventive descriptions abound in this apparently simple story of a lady who goes missing in a small English village neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the publisher has requested no quotations from a review copy, so I’ve got holes in my tongue from biting it!

This is told partly by 10-year old Gracie, in the present, and partly by the neighbours in the present and in flashbacks. I like Gracie’s parts the best. It does jump back and forth between times and points of view, and

I was charmed from the start with the main character, Grace Bennett, an inquisitive ten-year old girl with an active imagination, and her friend, Tilly. It is beautifully written, with humour and with tenderness.

The cast of characters, including Grace and Tilly live in a housing development in England. It is a persistently hot summer, 1976. With the days of vacation ahead, Grace, and by association, must find an adventure to cure the boredom with endless days with nothing to do. One of their ne
Diane Barnes
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute joy to read. An event, an adventure, as Grace and Tilly search for God in their neighborhood, as the vicar has said that "God is everywhere." They hope that if they find God, they will also find Mrs. Creasey, who has gone missing. The vicar also said, "God will protect us", and since the 10 year old girls take everything literally, they want to make sure he's going to take care of the people in their neighborhood. Their search for God leads them to some surprising knowl ...more
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Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set during the heatwave of 1976 in the east of England, ten year old pals Grace and Tilly decide to look for Mrs Creasy, a neighbour, who has gone missing. However, Mrs Creasy is not the only person that Grace and Tilly include in their search. As if Mrs Creasy’s disappearance isn’t enough of an adventure for the girls, Grace and Tilly also decide to search for God!

I want to give this book a big ten stars all wrapped up with big hugs and deliver them with so much love! To say I adored this book
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's summer of 1976, very hot, unremittingly hot, and Mrs. Creasy is missing from her home on "the Avenue", as the residents call it. Where she has gone and why no one seems to know, but two local girls, Grace and Tilly, aged 10, decide to make it their summer mission to investigate. Their goal: to find God in the Avenue! And how to do this? By learning more about the people they have lived with all of their lives...actually talking with them in ways that only 10 year olds would or could.

And th
4.5 stars

Utterly charming, surprisingly meaningful.

Set in 1970's English midlands, in a time where neighbours actually knew about each other (too much perhaps?), during an oppressive heat wave, Mrs. Creasy goes missing. Precocious 10 year old Grace and her delicate friend Tilly decide to play sleuth around the neighbourhood, to find Mrs. Creasy, but also to find God.

I just loved the chapters from Grace's point of view. So innocent, so literal, so damn funny I laughed out loud several times. I l
Bam cooks the books ;-)
This book is ideal for those who have enjoyed Fredrik Backman's books, such as A Man Called Ove, and Rachel Joyce's books, such as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It has a similar flavor with its warm-hearted blend of humor, some painful truths and a dash of mystery mixed in.

Margaret Creasy disappears from her neighborhood on a hot June Saturday in 1976 and ten-year-old Grace Bennett may have been the last to have seen her when the woman asked to use the Bennett's phone to call a taxi. G
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Hard work because none of the characters engaged my attention. I found it a boring read. The writing felt self conscious and over-done though every now and then there was a nice turn of phrase but the rest was often incomprehensible.

The story. I don't know, two girls go in and out of people's houses looking for God (so utterly not interested in whether they found him) and Mrs Creasey (likewise). This is like reading a children's book that isn't very good. There is no mystery as such, no tension
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent debut novel by author Joanna Cannon that is written like a seasoned writer.
A beautifully written book that amuses the reader as well a supplying an unusual whodunnit.

A charming light read that readers will find amusing and thoroughly entertaining.

I would like to thank Shribner and Net Galley for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Bill Kupersmith
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Some readeers found this story about two girls ages 9 & 12 (BTW age matters, so do tea towels), who prowl about an estate in the East Midlands asking questions in an effort to find out what became of a neighbour woman who'd apparently disappeared, charming & delightful. I found them maddingly overcute & the book tedious & boring. It is artistically well done - sort of like a Harold Pinter play but one that lasts about twelve hours - where inarticulate but talkative characters express their deepe ...more
I really enjoyed the start. The two girls were great fun and brilliant characters, although as one reviewer mentioned, Grace's voice was reminiscent of Alan Bennett's which coincidentally she shares a surname with. I loved the 70's references, the ponchos, whimsies, Kay's catalogues, garibaldis, artic rolls, although I agree, Angel Delight was mentioned too many times. Although I was only 3 yrs old I do remember the summer of 1976 as we had just moved house, and the heat was memorable. Someone h ...more
4+ stars - delightful!

Mrs. Margaret Creasy disappears in early July 1976 during an extraordinary heat wave. It upsets life on The Avenue, where most of the action takes place in The Trouble with Goats and Sheep. After hearing the vicar say that God is everywhere and he will take care of his flock, 10-year-old Grace decides that if she and her best friend Tilly can find God, Mrs. C will return and all will be returned to normalcy on The Avenue.

This book takes place in the present over July and A
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Librarians note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Joanna Cannon is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling debut novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK alone and has been published in 15 countries. The novel was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize, shortlisted for The Bookseller Industry Awards 2017 and won

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