2010 Sydney Taylor Book Awards (Association of Jewish Libraries): "A mystery with Jewish practices and values embedded."
Jewish Book Council
Review by Naomi Morse
This historical detective story takes place in England in 1810, with a voice styled in the manner of Jane Austen. As in some of Austen’s works, the family of the bride—the theft of whose dowry forms the backbone of the plot—exist on the edge of the upper class, and many of their interactions revolve around family economics and marital prospects. However, this book introduces us to characters from all the corners of London’s Jewish society, from its wealthy benefactors, to merchants and artisans, and down to its own crew of pickpockets. We see that Jews in the community lived many different lives. One of the book’s strengths as a work of historical fiction is that it moves beyond just “local color,” weaving a plot that depends on events in British and Jewish history that may not be well-known to US readers, but which were integral to the experiences of early 19th century Jews. Young male readers may need some encouragement to get past the prologue, which is contrived as a young woman’s attempts to befriend her imagined female readership. In fact, the story itself should appeal to both genders equally. A good buy for Jewish children’s collections that are looking for appropriate novels for older children and young adults, especially books that are focused on positive periods in our history. For ages 10–14.
"Pre-teens and teens (and their parents too) will enjoy a quick-paced, absorbing read." - December 4, 2009
The Jewish Tribune, London
"The book is a real Whodunnit, but with an extra twist - it's written from a Jewish perspective. ... We're constantly reminded that our hero is not a hardened sleuth but a Torah scholar with a heart, fully aware of his role and responsibilities in the unfolding drama. ... This is an admirable undertaking, and we look forward to many more in this intriguing series." - July 23 , 2009
"In this highly engaging and captivating story, the reader is held spellbound as the narrator spins the tale of the near tragedy that almost befell her family ... The story depicts an historical period not often seen in Jewish fiction and most importantly, demonstrates the efforts the Jewish community will go to in assisting one of its own during times of great trouble. This is a delightful book and an easy and quick read. I highly recommend it for all Jewish libraries."