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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

We All Get a Clue by Nancy Ellen Hird has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting [magazine] (https://store.focusonthefamily.com/goaa-thriving “magazine”). It is the second book in the “My Edinburgh Files” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

When Mr. MacLeod asks Elizabeth Carlsen to be on the catering team for Lord Blackford’s charity event, she eagerly accepts, excited to explore Lord Blackford’s manor. She is disappointed to discover, however, that she is expected to keep to the dining room and kitchen.

When a woman from the museum arrives to set up a book table and encourages Elizabeth to view Lord Blackford’s scientific instruments, she cannot resist. She is immediately drawn to a yellow piece of parchment with French writing: the Lavoisier letter.

While Elizabeth is examining the letter, Professor Walkingshaw enters and demands that she step back from it because he is worried that she will damage it. Lord Blackford enters, and Walkingshaw pleads with him to protect the letter more carefully, suggesting a plastic sleeve. Walkingshaw discovered the letter, which was written by the French scientist Marie Lavoisier, and feels responsible for its safety.

The event begins, and as Elizabeth is carrying trays full of desserts, she trips and spills a tray on one of the guests. Embarrassed, she retreats downstairs for the rest of the event. When she returns, the police have arrived. They order the guests and staff to remain in the manor until they have been questioned.

When Elizabeth is questioned, she discovers that the Lavoisier letter she viewed earlier that evening has been stolen. Later, while Elizabeth is packing up the catering supplies and museum book table, she witnesses a man named Mr. York attempting to leave before being questioned.

Elizabeth returns to the bed and breakfast where she lives with her grandmother. Shortly after she arrives, York comes to rent a room and leaves early the next morning. After York leaves, Elizabeth finds a threatening note demanding that she surrender the letter. Her grandmother also receives a call from Lord Blackford, accusing Elizabeth of taking the letter and requesting its return.

A distraught Elizabeth goes to her room, only to find it ransacked. Elizabeth’s friend Roopa suggests they join some other children for a snowball fight to take Elizabeth’s mind off the letter. Lord Blackford’s granddaughter Kate is there and is rather cold to Elizabeth because she suspects Elizabeth has something to do with the missing letter. Roopa, however, befriends Kate, which makes Elizabeth feel jealous. While they are playing, York attempts to steal Elizabeth’s backpack.

Elizabeth wonders if York put the letter in her backpack and is attempting to retrieve it. She goes home and finds the letter in between the pages of one of her books. She returns it to Lord Blackford, who apologizes for accusing her and asks her to come to dinner with him and his granddaughter. When Elizabeth leaves the manor after dinner, she sees York’s car parked at the end of Lord Blackford’s driveway. She asks her grandmother to call Lord Blackford and warn him, but he seems unconcerned.

Kate is worried that York will try to rob the house one evening when Lord Blackford is gone. She asks Elizabeth, Roopa and Mr. MacLeod’s two sons, Malcolm and Jamie, to help her trap the thief. Elizabeth’s parents don’t allow her to be in a house alone with other children, but she chooses to go anyway.

York shows up with a partner and attempts to rob the house. The children are able to slow the thieves down and call the police, resulting in the two men being arrested. The children’s parents and guardians are displeased that the children put themselves in danger; Roopa and Elizabeth are grounded.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth goes to school and her teacher returns a graded math test. Elizabeth did poorly because she had forgotten to cross her sevens in the European way, having learned to make sevens differently in America. Elizabeth suddenly remembers that the date on the Lavoisier letter she had seen the night of the charity event had a crossed seven on it and believes the letter she found in her book did not.

Elizabeth goes to Professor Walkingshaw and expresses her concerns. He states that the letter found in her book could not possibly have been a forgery and encourages her not to bother anyone else with such an absurd idea. Elizabeth, however, is not convinced. She finds photos of the original letter, as well as the recovered one, and her suspicions are confirmed: The letters are not the same.

Elizabeth and Roopa return to Walkingshaw’s office while he is out and discover an antique book with a few pages missing, which could have provided parchment for the forgery. They also find an article stating that Walkingshaw was originally from America, explaining the uncrossed seven. They present their evidence to Lord Blackford, who then confronts Walkingshaw.

Walkingshaw confesses to forging the letter and replacing the original with his forgery. He explains he was concerned about the safety of the letter during the charity event and only meant to protect it from careless guests and thieves. He intended to return the original after the event had ended, but was taken ill and the police investigation had already begun due to Mr. York’s theft of the forgery. Walkingshaw returns the letter, and Lord Blackford bans him from the manor.

Christian Beliefs

Elizabeth often prays when she is upset or confused. She talks to God after dropping the tray during the charity event and prays for wisdom before she decides to tell Lord Blackford that the letter is a forgery. The adults in Elizabeth’s life offer Scriptures that are relevant to her concerns and struggles. Her aunt, for example, encourages Libby not to compare herself to others by referencing the passage in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ being made of many members.

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Elizabeth lives with her aunt and grandmother, who are portrayed as loving and firm. They comfort Elizabeth when she drops the tray at Lord Blackford’s manor and when she loses a competition, urging her to turn to God and look for the good in these situations.

Roopa’s and Malcolm’s parents are also kind and supportive. Roopa’s mother helps the girls with a book they are writing, and Mr. MacLeod urges Elizabeth not to worry about dropping the tray. Lord Blackford is presented as a bit harsh and unreasonable, accusing Elizabeth of stealing the letter and discouraging Kate’s dreams of becoming a scientist.

A few police officers appear briefly to question suspects and appear competent, but are largely absent. The children take it upon themselves to catch the thieves at Lord Blackford’s manor and find the missing letter.

Professor Walkingshaw is harsh to Elizabeth when he finds her examining the letter. He lies to Elizabeth and Roopa about helping them publish their book and also lies repeatedly about the Lavoisier letter, not confessing to the forgery until the evidence forces him to take responsibility.

Profanity/Violence

When the children trap the thieves, Lord Blackford’s dogs attack Mr. York, and Elizabeth hears screaming. Mr. York’s partner attacks Jamie, punching him several times and shoving him against a bookcase.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at [FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books] (https://focusonthefamily.webconnex.com/co-tfbdq “FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books”).

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can’t find at reviewrequests@family.org.

*Book reviews cover the content, themes, and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family. *

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 to 12

Author

Nancy Ellen Hird

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Desert Fires Press

Released

On Video

Year Published

2016

Awards

Unknown

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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