Mrs. Murray's Hidden Treasure

The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
122 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Mrs. Murray's Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series, Book 2 is an adventure fantasy novel for children and preteens written by Emily-Jane Hills Orford. Mary loved her house on Piccadilly Street and adored the family of brownies and even the ghostly apparition known as Mrs. Murray who had come into her life with her family’s move to that most intriguing house. So much to explore in the old house’s secret passageways, and, there was even a treasure. A treasure? Well, Mrs. Murray did seem to recall there being one, but she’s long forgotten where she put it or even what it was. Still, the very thought of hidden treasure was an irresistible lure. School was another story. While Mary loved most of her classes and had made a new friend named Rosie, Miss Penelope, a teacher who also was the gym instructor, was quickly becoming the bane of Mary's and Rosie’s lives. Miss Penelope was sadistic and dishonest, and she was making a point of giving the principal and their parents a totally skewed version of their behavior in class. Mary was seriously wondering if Miss Penelope was really the Witch Penelope she encountered during her time in the Dream World. They seem awfully alike.

Mrs. Murray's Hidden Treasure is a marvelous continuation of the story begun in Orford’s first book in the series, Mrs. Murray’s Ghost, but the author provides enough background information for this story to be enjoyed as a standalone. That said, I adored the first book and heartily recommend it to everyone. I loved seeing how the author continues her story in Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure and expands the personalities and interrelationships of her characters, and Mary’s excitement over the concept of hidden treasure makes the plot even more enticing. Orford’s characters are finely honed and fun to watch as brownies, humans, and a ghost interact and form a large and supportive family. Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure is well written and a hoot of a mystery story that will appeal to anyone who’s ever wondered about hidden treasure in spooky old Victorian houses. Mrs. Murray's Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series, Book 2 is most highly recommended.

Deanna R Sweeney

Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure by Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a delightful tale of a young girl named Mary and her many unique friends. Mrs. Murray is a ghost who resides in Mary’s house. She has hidden a treasure somewhere in the house but can’t remember where. This treasure has drawn the attention of the evil witch Miss Penelope, who is a foe that Mary has faced before with her friends, the brownies. The brownies are little people who live in the walls and are sworn to protect the people who live in the house, especially Mary. Part of the treasure is a magical ring that would make Miss Penelope even more powerful. The brownies believe that together they should be able to keep Mary and the treasure safe from Miss Penelope, but Mrs. Murray reveals that they may have a traitor in their midst.

I really enjoyed this story from start to finish. It was an easy and fun read. The characters were unique and well developed, the narrative was engaging and believable, and the writing was clearly professionally edited. This is the kind of story that I could see my own kids reading. I think this book would do very well with grade five and six aged children and would be a good addition to an elementary school library. The only suggestion that I can think of to improve on this book for that market would be to add a few pictures. I would definitely recommend this book and would like to see it continue in a series.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure by Emily-Jane Hills Orford continues with Mary adjusting to her new home and recovered illness. But she is positive her teacher, Mrs. Penelope, is the witch that trapped her in her dream world and has followed her out. Penelope has not only singled Mary out in school but also her friend Rosie. The resident ghost, Mrs. Murray, figures Penelope must be after the magical ring she once hid, if only she could remember where. The adventures Mary faces will entertain and amuse young people as they can imagine the danger that confronts her. The life of this little girl will fascinate adults as they remember the escapades of their youth.
 
Though Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure is a sequel to Mrs. Murray’s Ghost, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has written it so it could be read alone. Mary faces everyday problems such as trouble at school, being the youngest child, and uncertainties because of her age. Add to that the supernatural events happening within her house; the drama of the Little Folks (Brownies) within her walls, the forgetful ghost, and an evil spy causing mayhem. This novel blends everyday life with a mystical twist. It would be easy to see the author continue with more books in The Piccadilly Street Series as there is more for Mary to accomplish, relatives to meet, and her training has yet to begin. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it to junior high students who enjoy fantasy with a twist of magic.