The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Lost Treasure – Abie Longstaff illustrated by James Brown

I’ve written about our love for the early chapter series The Trapdoor Mysteries before and it is a touch bittersweet to read the final story in this lovely collection that has really touched Littlefae’s heart.

I’m sad that this intelligent series has ended, though the idea certainly has much potential working forward or backwards in time to different child Keeper of the Libraries.

Book cover for The Trapdoor Mysteries The Lost Treasure
Illustration by James Brown design by Sophie Burdess

I can’t say much about this plot without spoiling the wonderful details in the plot of Books 2 & 3. All I will say is that joining Tally’s quest to find her mother the entire household go on an ocean liner to visit the USA where Tally will have to depend on her wits now she is so far from the Secret Library.

The Lost Treasure has a double meaning as it is concerned with both the quest to find Tally’s mother who fell from a cliff 10 years ago but also whilst on the ocean liner there is a jewel thief on board suggesting both physical and emotional Treasure is sought in this book.

This is a lovely series for younger readers that combines a historical fiction context with the suspense of mystery books and logic puzzles and animal facts dotted throughout for added character.

Longstaff keeps it warm and inviting to young children by the inclusion of the whimsical magic of a magical library that creates avatars of the reading material and where there is supposed to be a keeper at all times, and our protagonist took up the mantle in Book 1: A Sticky Situation.

This series is very close to Littlefae’s heart, and we both love this series. They are incredibly clever, calmly and quietly intelligent in how they include and educate the reader about how to break codes, the behaviours and activities of different creatures and related scientific knowledge alongside the plot and we adored how Tally finally admits out loud she wants to be an inventor.

The illustrations by James Brown are always fantastic but are absolutely spellbinding in this book especially a certain exterior scene with crashing waves! Throughout the story the illustrations contribute a lovely warmth and clues and added personality traits especially of the grown ups.

Tally has grown so much since Book 1 and she is on the cusp of outgrowing being the Keeper Of the Library but the fear is she will stagnate out of lack of belief in herself like the adults in the Manor were doing until their worlds opened and brightened after Tally discovered the Library.

Interestingly Tally is the one struggling with the changes and new life she has unlocked so this finale is as much about accepting and growing for Tally as following up on whether we can find her mum.

This last book is a tear-wobbler if you are a softy like me and have invested in the series like we have. It’s bittersweet to complete this series but I’m grateful that intelligent and thoughtful books such as these have been created and will be enjoyed by my girls for years to come.

The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Lost Treasure by Abie Longstaff and illustrated by James Brown is published by Orion Childrens Books.

We originally received A Sticky Situation to review on another platform, but all other books in the series including this one have been purchased by me.

2 thoughts on “The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Lost Treasure – Abie Longstaff illustrated by James Brown

    1. Oh they’re lovely, they’ve got just enough formula and repetition across the series to allow early readers to feel comfort in the familiar and start predicting. Excellent and heartfelt books my 6 year old has adored this series and would’ve happily read more! 💜


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