Source: Librarything Early Readers Program and Chronicle Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Series: Stoker and Holmes #3
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
And then she mouthed a word at me—an unmistakable word that told me everything I needed to know. “Checkmate.”
Evaline Stoker & Mina Holmes have reluctantly agreed to act as social chaperones and undercover bodyguards for Princess Lurelia of Betrovia, who has arrived in London to deliver a letter that details the secret location of an ancient chess queen that’s been missing for centuries. But when the letter—which will heal a centuries-old rift between England and the Betrovians—is stolen out from under Evaline and Mina’s watchful eyes, the two girls are forced into a high-stakes race to ensure they find the chess queen before anyone else does…including their foe, the Ankh. For the chess queen is not only a historic symbol of a woman’s political power, but it has literal power as well—the queen will unlock the chessboard, revealing both treasures and ancient secrets the Ankh would kill to possess. It will take Mina’s smarts and Evaline’s strength to beat the thief and untangle this mystery before it is too late.
ARG! This books was so frustrating, but in a good way. Stoker and Holmes have been after the Anka since book one in this series and in this installment she makes another appearance and the suspense was killing me! After the ending of book 2 I wanted to jump into book 3 immediately but had a few other things to read, so when I was able to pick this one up I thought I would devour it. I have to say that these books have a lot of build up - if you are familiar with classic Holmes and mysteries they tend to drag a bit, then BOOM - all the answers appear almost immediately and this is the case with this series but there are also a few minor surprises throughout as well.
Stoker and Holmes are both getting used to working together and you can tell as the point of view alternates that they both still have peeve with the other but are learning to adapt their styles to work well together. I really like their growing friendship.
I also really liked this story, the girls are tasked with keeping a princess safe but all the while trying to find the location of a long lost chess queen piece. It was highly entertaining and as the series progresses I like that the girls are developing relationships with other players in their mysterious locale.
Overall I really enjoyed the book, I plan to keep reading this series as it progresses and so I guess that is a win.