Cold Shoulder Road

Joan Aiken

Delacorte Press. $15.95
(paper $4.50)

...a sailing ship caught in a tree...
...the Silent Sect whose members never speak aloud...
...a fabulous necklace of "tangerine" diamonds and the long lost treasure of King Charles I...

Cold Shoulder Road is another delightful romp set in Joan Aiken's alternative England of a hundred years ago, first introduced with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase in 1963. Now the adventures of Simon Battersea and his friend Dido Twite have passed to Dido's younger sister Is.

After some harrowing escapades in the north, Is Twite and her cousin Arun arrive at Arun's home in Folkestone on Cold Shoulder Road. The house is abandoned and Arun's mother has disappeared; and when they ask questions, the people of Folkestone are afraid to talk. The search is further confounded by Dominic de la Twite, the sleazy, very talkative leader of the Silent Sect, and the Merry Gentry, a vicious band of smugglers feared throughout the surrounding countryside. The Merry Gentry seem to think Is and Arun, or maybe Arun's mother, know something they shouldn't...

Cold Shoulder Road is chock full of deliciously wicked plots, nefarious deeds, and good natured humor. Joan Aiken strikes the perfect pace, the perfect tone for this evocative young adult novel of an England that never was (as in, King James III followed by King Richard IV and now by King Simon I). If at times there seems to be little difference between Is and Dido, both are such spunky characters that either is a treat. Definitely look forward to the further adventures of both.


Other books about Is, Dido, and their friends:

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Doubleday, 1963 (Simon)
Blackhearts in Battersea. Doubleday, 1964 (Simon and Dido)
Nightbirds in Nantucket. Doubleday, 1966 (Dido)
The Whispering Mountin, Doubleday, 1968 (Owen)
The Stolen Lake. Delacorte, 1981 (Dido)
The Cuckoo Tree. Doubleday, 1971 (Dido)
Dido and Pa. Delacorte Press, 1986 (Simon and Dido)
Is Underground. Delacorte Press, 1992 (Is)
Cold Shoulder Road. Delacorte Press, 1996 (Is)
Dangerous Games. Delacorte Press, 1999 (Dido)


This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris
Information last updated February 21, 1999

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