Author: Philip Pullman
My rating: 4 of 5
Criminals beware–the New Cut Gang is on the case! For that matter, the innocent should probably be on their guard too, as this rambunctious crew of youngsters are quite as likely to pull their older, slower friends into the chaos as they are to apprehend the crook. Whether it’s aiding a struggling courtship, making a street vendor famous, or breaking someone out of jail, the New Cut Gang is up to the task. And (rather miraculously) they catch the criminals as well!
Two Crafty Criminals! is a fun bundle of hijinks, action, and humor. It portrays 1890s London quite well, particularly in the dialect, but also in numerous historical details and in the general “feel” of the story. The style is a bit younger in intended audience and more hyperbolic that I’m used to seeing in Pullman’s writing, but it works well for the story. Actually, for both stories, as this book was originally published as two shorter stories (around 125 pages each), Thunderbolt’s Waxwork and The Gas-Fitters’ Ball. Both stories go together though, and I’m glad to find them published together. I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys a romping good mystery (or just a good romp).