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The Black Book of Secrets


  • This polished debut from a British writer tantalizingly blends secrets and thick, evocative atmosphere . . . Higgins, framing her book as texts discovered in a hallowed wooden leg, expertly sustains the audience’s curiosity, revealing just enough information to keep readers riveted. And for all the grisly details, the novel gets at important themes about self-determination and trust. Original and engrossing.
    Publishers Weekly
  • The story’s vaguely Dickensian atmosphere is exquisite . . . A tantalizingly revelatory ending leaves at least one thread dangling for future volumes (which are sure to evoke more picaresque oddities and nefarious tales), making this a smart, peculiarly thrilling book that is sure to appeal to readers ready to sidestep the goodygoody Harry Potters of adventure fiction.
  • Higgins creates a fascinating novel peopled with colorful characters and imbued with clever plot twists . . . the novel’s climax is both excellent and surprising.
  • Higgins’s fine writing and wry tale will charm readers who are ready for the unusual . . . like the film Chocolat . . . a stranger enters a town and changes the lives there forever, all from the confines of a small shop, this time a pawnbroker’s place.


Billingsley, Franny. The Folk Keeper. Simon & Schuster, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0747560548

Delaney, Joseph. The Revenge of the Witch. (The Last Apprentice, Book One). Greenwillow, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0060766207

Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. The Conch Bearer. Roaring Brook, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-0689872426

Higgins, F. E. The Bone Magician. Feiwel and Friends, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1405090407

Hirsch, Odo. Bartlett and the City of Flames. Bloomsbury, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-1582348315

Langrish, Katherine. Troll Fell. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0060583064