The peculiar peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J Halpin review

Suds is a sleepy town, nothing to boast of and there is nothing remarkable about it. Yet is very unusual in its own way. Why? It is a town with a very strange history much like it’s strange name. It’s a strange town full of curious and atypical people. Suds was famous once for its garment mill, but that’s a part of history now.

Children go missing in Suds without a trace. The signs are the same: their hair goes white, their eyes steely grey, and one day they vanish into thin air.

Our protagonist, Poppy, is in the town to spend some days with her grandmother, finds a mysterious green silk covered book in the train to Suds and keeps it with her.

Poppy’s granny lives by some strange rules:

All clothes must be brought off the washing line (even if wet) by Six O’CLOCK.

All sugar cubes must be kept under lock and key.

At night, close your window, lock it, draw the curtains.


Due to some unavoidable circumstances, Poppy has to enroll herself in the local school. She meets a strange boy, Erasmus when she is with her granny on her visit to the clinic. Poppy and Erasmus become friends albeit not with a happy start. Both of them suspect something strange and set out to investigate the mystery all by themselves. Tagging along with them is Mitsy, with her alluring yet mysterious book, Fairy tales of the English South.

We’re warned about Mumbling Marley, another character who lives in Riddling Woods. I won’t give away much of his character, you’ve to read the book to find out about him!!

Will Erasmus and Poppy be successful in solving the mystery? Who are the Peggs? What is their story? Why do they only target children? What is Riddling Woods?

My review:

Let me be a little honest here. I started reading the book with zero expectations about the plot. I knew I was going to like this book after reading the first 20 pages, but what I didn’t expect was to like it this much!
A very smartly written book!! Brilliantly executed! Laden with mysteries, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat! A solid page turner, which has all twists and turns at the right places. It keeps you wanting for more!! The narrative is even and doesn’t fall flat and never does it lose its essence. I recommend this to everyone, kids and adults alike, because this is a book everyone will enjoy, cherish and talk about for a long time. The writing is very very imaginative and deliciously dark. All of the twists and turns will keep you on your toes. It’s not predictable at all which makes it a highly enjoyable read. The plot construction is very subtle and as the mystery unfurls itself, it grows on you. What I loved most about this book is that how layered it is, and how the surprise elements increase page after page. I wasn’t able to put this down at all. A book which will stay in your mind long after you read it! You’ll request other people to read it as soon as possible just because you can discuss it with them! I really really enjoyed reading it! This book came to me at the right time when I needed to read a fresh story. A very smashing, exceptional and out of the box story!! I wish I could visit Suds. It’s hard to believe this is Halpin’s debut novel. I want to read more by him!

Keep a lookout for this book as it releases in January 2019.

Thank you Usborne YA for the early proof copy.

Picture and opinions are my own.

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