Title: The Wolf’s Howl: A Maven and Reeve Mystery
Author: A.L. Tait
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Publisher: Puffin Australia
Published: 3rd August 2021
Synopsis: Bestselling author A. L. Tait is back with the next Maven and Reeve Mystery.
A secret mission.
A missing cook.
A hostile landscape.
A mystery to unravel.
Maven and Reeve find themselves at the far-flung and gloomy Glawn Castle while Sir Garrick secretly searches for supporters of the rebellion. But when a cook goes missing and the Airl’s personal guards take more than a passing interest in the disappearance, danger looms and the potential for discovery grows.
Can Maven and Reeve solve the mystery . . . or will they be unmasked and sentenced with treason?
Maven and Reeve are back, and on their way to Glawn Castle with Cassandra and her new husband, Sir Garrick soon after their wedding. The rebellion that began in the Fire Star has bubbled over into the second book, and Sir Garrick is on a secret mission – trying to find those supporting the rebellion that threatens the kingdom. But a cook – Mistress Percy – has gone missing. As the Airl’s guards decide to stick their noses into the situation, Maven and Reeve sense that there is danger around the corner – much more than is first anticipated. So it falls to Maven Reeve to solve the mystery – but what will happen when they start to look around for Mistress Percy? What price will they be willing to pay to save the cook they have never met in the quest to unite the kingdom?
Well, Maven and Reeve have returned with a bang, with gusto and zest and true to form, manage to get into a variety of scrapes and capers along the way as they work to solve the mystery that lies ahead of them.
Set in a vibrant medieval world, the Maven and Reeve mystery series is exciting and fun, and delightful rollick across a land ruled by lords and nobility, where class and gender are starkly different, and everyone’s role is rigid based on their standing within these categories. Yet Maven and Reeve buck the trend – remaining friends despite their class differences and even make those senior to them respect them and what they can do. Even so, there are times Maven and Reeve toe the line – they have to, so they can maintain their places with Sir Garrick and his home. Told again through the eyes of both Maven and Reeve, though this time I felt we heard much more from Maven, the Wolf’s Howl is filled with crime and intrigue, and another appearance from the Beech Circle – something I imagine will have many connections as the series goes on.
I loved that Maven’s voice came through strongly in this book – I love hearing the voices of women in fiction, and Maven is one character who I can see has layers of her character and history that need to be peeled back as the series goes on. She is a fascinating character and drives the story exquisitely when Reeve is not there, and she also doesn’t let Reeve put her down – I really like that about her. It has a darker feel than the previous book, more mysterious but this works, and allows the characters to grow within the world they live in.
I’m a huge fan of A.L. Tait and have all her middle grade books, and I think this is my favourite series out of all of them. I love that Maven and Reeve get an equal billing on the page and we hear both their voices as the stories progress. A.L. Tait also constructs thrilling mysteries around friends and a world that is intriguing and fun and manages to capture the joy of frolicking with friends amidst times of wonder, whilst finding out who you can truly rely on to help you with the problems or dilemmas you are facing in your life.
She links back to the Firestar whilst pushing forward with the new mystery surrounding the missing cook and the role of the Wolf’s Howl, what it is and what it means – read the book to find out! I loved this new book, and I can’t wait for everyone else following this series to enjoy it. It’s such an exciting series, and one to follow for sure as each book is released. The danger is always resolved I a way that is satisfying, and with the promise of a new and just as intriguing mystery to follow in the next book along with the joyful celebrations of friendship and female unity in a world where women are meant to be quiet. A world where Maven refuses to let her gender and her past define who she is and define her fate as she navigates a new world.
Bring on the next book!