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Book Review - The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods

17th April 2019

After Poppy's mum dies, she is sent to the peculiar town of Suds to live with Gran and her miniature pig, Churchill. A town with a strange history to complement its strange name, Suds is famous for its fabric mills. Once prosperous and thriving, the Mills, located deep in the Riddling Woods, are now neglected, ruined and (whisper it...) haunted. Mindful of this, Gran lives by some very strange rules indeed:

1. All washing must be done during the day. Bring your clothes in off the washing line (even if they are wet) before six o'clock every night.

2. All sugar cubes are to be kept under lock and key.

3. At night close your window, lock it, draw the curtains.

4. NEVER, DON'T YOU EVER, dust the window sills.

Poppy isn't quite sure if she believes her shrewd old Gran - after all, she is twelve now, and twelve is the age when a person truly starts reasoning what is real and what is fabricated...

But Poppy can't deny that something strange is going on in Suds. Over the years, children have been fading to grey before disappearing completely without a trace. And no one's quite sure why. Poppy and her new friend, Erasmus, are determined to unravel the mystery, but, when their search leads them to the dark and twisting Riddling Woods, discovering what's lurking there requires buckets of courage and, of course, a whole lot of research. 

What or who are the Peggs? What's in the Riddling Woods? And why do children keep disappearing? 

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods is a sensational debut from Samuel J. Halpin. While this is certainly a read that will have you on the edge of your seat, the pacey narrative is filled with touching moments that explore grief, loss and unconventional family set-ups, as well as witty descriptions that will leave you chuckling. With twists and turns round every corner, this book is perfect for fairy tale fans who like their stories thrilling, with a generous sprinkling of spook.

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