Kidnap on the California Comet by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, Illus. by Elisa Paganelli

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It is the holidays and Hal’s Uncle Nat has asked him to come with him on the California Comet. A classic American train journey from Chicago to San Francisco.

As soon as Hal arrives at the great central station in Chicago, complete with a sketchbook, the adventures start to happen. He can’t sketch quick enough trying to get all the little details onto the page. He makes friends with Hadley, who wants to be a magician and her brother Mason, who loves to impersonate Hal’s English accent. But there is a special carriage attached to the train, with a very important person aboard and his daughter. Soon Hal and his new friends find themselves involved in a mysterious kidnap on board the train and Hal keeps sketching every little detail in the hope that his drawings will help solve the case.

The description of the journey, through all the sights and sounds of the different states and countryside, is brilliantly written and once again all the characters are very believable.
I loved this adventure story that rattled along the train tracks at speed, and anything to do with train travel is always that bit special.

I was given this book by NetGalley for a frank and honest review, and I read it on a kindle. I will reread it in book form once it’s published to see Elisa Paganelli’s illustrations on the page.