A Maisie Dobbs Novel
Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 9780061730344, 128pp.
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
The rider sprang off as light as a cat and pulled the reins over the horse's head. Then he marched straight over to me and put them into my hand.
"Hold the mare for me, lad. And when I come back, I'll give you a golden guinea."
A dark stranger leaves his magnificent horse in the care of a boy he's never met. As dusk falls, others offer to pay the boy handsomely for the animal. Then soldiers arrive, demanding to know where the horse's owner has gone.
Could the stranger be the notorious Dick Turpin, known for his daring holdups and amazing exploits? Is the horse the legendary Black Bess? And will the boy ever see the reward he's been promised?
There's mischief in the air, but it isn't entirely clear who's causing it.
“It’s a suspenseful and tautly written story as is, and Thompson’s sly twist makes it all the richer.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This short chapter book with plentiful pen-and-ink drawings supplied by Dress, large font and lines spaced apart for easy reading is just the thing for those leaving early readers behind and wanting fast-paced action, dry humor and an ending that leaves room for discussion.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A narrative rich in language, told with panache and begging to be shared aloud, along with Duddle and Dress’s comical, detailed sketches of its Dickensian denizens and the romantically elegant Black Bess.”
-The Horn Book