Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret of the Night Train” as Want to Read:
The Secret of the Night Train
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret of the Night Train

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  42 reviews
When Max is sent to Istanbul to stay with her boring Great Aunt-Elodie, little does she expect to be plunged into a thrilling night-time adventure across Europe. And when the mysterious Heartbreak Diamond goes missing, Max must find her feet in a whirling world of would-be diamond smugglers, thieves and undercover detectives. Will she discover the real diamond thief before ...more
304 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Scholastic
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret of the Night Train, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret of the Night Train

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  228 ratings  ·  42 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Secret of the Night Train
Rosemary Atwell
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s impossible not to fall in love with this sparkling and hugely entertaining travel tale of stolen jewels, eccentric characters and a feisty French schoolgirl all bound for Istanbul on an Orient Express-style sleeper. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more titles from this author.
Sophie Crane
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A young girl called Max gets invited to go to see her grandma in Istanbul. Her journey there is by train from Paris, and she is taken by Sister Marguerite. Unknown by Max at the time of boarding the train, one of the passengers has a secretly hidden stolen diamond. Who is it? By the time Max gets to Istanbul, she has solved the mystery of who has the jewel, and who her grandma is actually is! What an adventure story! I enjoyed this book and found it entertaining and funny. The illustrations are ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delightful fun!

This is another book I was drawn to by the beautiful gold-foiled cover. I picked this one up expecting it to be historical fiction, and a kind of Agatha-Christie for kids, and was proven very wrong. I'm not sure where those ideas came from, but I was pleased to be surprised right from the start and taken on an adventure I didn't quite expect. It's set in the modern day and is not a murder-mystery, but a detective adventure story about a little girl and a nun trying to solve the my
Oda Renate
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the mystery, the setting, the characters, its all so perrfect! love,love,love it.
When Max gets invited to visit her great-aunt in Istanbul she doesn't know what kind of adventures she will get into on the way to her aunt.

I have been in love with trains for a long time, and always wanted to make such a big trip with trains ever since I read Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express! My motion-sickness would make it a bit harder to travel that much, but still I kept dreaming about it. So I couldn't resist this book that promised not only travelling by train but also mystery
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely interesting but it was a very good book and I was very intrigued too the book I do about it was probably the best book I've ever read in the 30 book challenge it is probably the best I've ever read in a long long time but amazing excited to be honest I love the little girl and all the crazy adventures they had Esther was very funny though ha ha! It was really good
Marco Giorgini
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really great book. First and last chapters are a warm and poetic and I simply love them - because they remember me about my younger self, reading this kind of novel, eons ago.
The rest of the story is different kind of joy: a clever crime plot (we're looking for a jewel thief) with lovable characters, on a train travel from Paris to Istanbul, with twists, a lazy police officer, and well a super cool nun.
Of course, this is a book for teenagers. But this doesn't mean it's not a nice experience ev
Christina Reid
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fast-paced middle-grade adventure starting in Paris and ending in Istanbul. Max's great aunt Elodie is ill and nobody else in her family is available to go and spend time with her (Mum and Dad have meetings, big sister has an international showjumping contest and big brother has a national chess competition) so Max sets off, accompanied by a disorganised nun, on a train journey across Europe.
Their departure is delayed when a famous diamond goes missing and police suspect that somebody on the t
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
ahhh such cuteness!
middle grade books are my happy place and LOOK AT THE PRETTY PRETTY COVER and all the illustrations!!
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was quite funny and really adventurous
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolute cracker of a book. Full of adventure, European cities and unlikely friends. I would love to be Max, travelling across Europe, on the hunt for a missing diamond. I am yet to find a Sylvia Bishop book I don’t love. Just wonderful.
I _teach_muggles
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Secret of the Night Train is the debut middle grade novel by Sylvia Bishop. The book has been thoroughly researched as Bishop alludes to in her acknowledgements paying testament to the guru of train travel, ‘the man in seat 61’. Having been on many a train journey around the world I can vouch for the ‘man in seat 61’ and his incredible website of all things trains related. I really value that the author has been on the journey that she has written about as it adds real authenticity to the na ...more
Katy Noyes
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adolescent detective mystery, reminiscent of Agatha Christie.

Intelligent detective story for pre-teens. Max proves an Everygirl for readers, rising to the challenges presented with sense and spirit. Sent from her rather comfortable but staid existence to stay with her Great Aunt in Istanbul. she takes the cross-continental train with a Nun for a companion. At the same time, a famous diamond goes missing and she learns it may be aboard her train...

Who can Max trust? Can the diamond be close at ha
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This follows an inquisitive young girl called Max as she is sent to stay with her Great Aunt Elodie , and must take a night train through several European destinations in order to reach her in Istanbul, where she of course discovers a mystery connected to a high-profile jewel theft. I loved Max as a detective and how dedicated she was to solving the crime, and I thought the supporting cast (from potential culprits to incompetent police officers) were super enjoyable too, especially as a lot of t ...more
Ian Tymms
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very readable detective mystery set on a train trip from Paris to Istanbul. Some wonderful characters with just the right level of caricature to keep the story light and flowing. I particularly enjoyed Sister Marguerite's advice at the end of the novel:

"You might start to feel wanderlust, which is the opposite of homesickness, and makes you want to go anywhere and do anything. Most people have both homesickness and wanderlust in them. They are good things - keeping us grounded and keeping us m
Hannah Foley
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pre-reading this to give a precis to my daughter, who gets quite worried about whether books will be too scary for her, I knew after the first chapter that she would love this book. Max is a wonderful protagonist any ten year old would love to go adventuring with. Travelling by train across Europe to visit her Great-Aunt Elodie, Max finds herself embroiled in a strange mystery. The Heartbreak Diamond had been stolen and the thief is likely to be one of Max's fellow travellers! Can Max and Sister ...more
Dan Bassett
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a charming delight for all ages! I love the story, the characters( the nun being so funny and lovable!) and the setting! I am a huge train traveller and this drew me in with the story of young Max travelling to Istanbul to visit her Aunt( or so she thinks!) and a missing 'Heartbreak' Diamond. I loved the many locations Max visits and the situations she gets herself into and out of! I loved the ending and had a smile on my face when I finished. This is a great book and I loved it!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
#booktubeathon 2018 read a book with a beautiful spine challenge
Super cute and fun middle grade book that reminds me of a cross between Harriet the spy and A child’s version without the adult content of murder on the orient express.
Book Bazaar
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
​Our junior book club read this and we loved it. This book was so much fun! We liked the detective adventure as we went with Max on the train from Paris to Istanbul trying to uncover who was the jewel thief on-board.

We scored it:
8.5 / 9 / 8 / 8.5
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Delicious adventure of 11 year old Max who, desperate for something new, sets off on a train ride to visit her great aunt. But the journey proves to be far more exciting than she could have imagined.
Recommended for ages 8-12.
Dawn Aytoun
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Superbly written for younger readers, with a great mystery narrative and fab twist. Fantastical and believable at the same time. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best book I’ve read all year! A fabulous adventure story of courage and curiosity, of friendship and reminding you to seize every opportunity that comes your way.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great fun, fast paced adventure :)
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG this book is so AMAZING!!!I loved it so much.The plot twists were defiantly unexpected and took me by surprise.I definitely recommend this book!!!
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun read - a good mystery, a bit of adventure and some wonderful travel. I hope my son enjoys it as much as I did.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a really good book and I really liked it my favourite part was when she eventually got to go and go travel on the train
Athena Mathioudaki
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is something cozy about Sylvia's Bishop books.
Amelia Hawkins
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Williams
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an unusual and entertaining story - I loved it.
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Brightstorm
  • Orphans of the Tide
  • The Case of the Missing Treasure (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #6.5)
  • The Highland Falcon Thief
  • A Sprinkle of Sorcery (A Pinch of Magic, #2)
  • The Skylarks’ War
  • The Land of Roar
  • The Last Chance Hotel (Seth Seppi Mystery, #1)
  • The Train to Impossible Places (The Train to impossible places, #1)
  • The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly, #1)
  • Not My Fault
  • The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #1)
  • A Pinch of Magic (A Pinch of Magic, #1)
  • Murder Most Unladylike (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #1)
  • Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea, #1)
  • The Vanishing Trick
  • Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell #1)
  • Peril in Paris (Taylor & Rose: Secret Agents, #1)
See similar books…
Sylvia Bishop spent an entire childhood reading fiction, dreaming up stories and pretending. She then tried very hard to get to grips with the real world by studying politics and going in to social science research. This was a shock. Thankfully, she discovered improvised comedy at university, which allowed her to carry on making up stories for at least 30% of her waking hours.

Now she writes her st

Related Articles

Want to encourage young readers to keep up their reading habits? Look no further than this year's buzziest YA and middle-grade graphic...
55 likes · 17 comments