Review: Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers’ Ball by S.P. O’Farrell

Simone LaFray and the Chocolatier’s Ball

Author: S.P. O’Farrell

Published: May 13, 2019

Publisher: Brandylane Publishers

Number of Pages: 138 Pages

Format: Hardback

Source: Purchased

Simone LaFray had never questioned one thing – the character of her father. A fourth generation chocolatier and proprietor of a world famous patisserie, in her eyes he could do no wrong. However, her eyes were trained to see everything that was wrong. A covert agent with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this extraordinary 12-year-old was living a double life, walking in the veiled footprints of her mother, icing eclairs, dusting pastries, and darting between the shadows. What could be sweeter? When a notorious thief returns to Paris seeking revenge against her mother, a series of unforeseen and potentially devastating events ensue, leaving Simone to question everything. Her father can’t be the man they say he is, can he? Her concealed life is evaporating, the store hangs in the balance . . . and did I mention she needs a ball gown? Life in a French patisserie may not be as sweet as you thought. Simone LaFray and the Chocolatier’s Ball pulls the invisible girl out of the shadows and into the spotlight, but is she ready?

Immediately, I found this book to be incredibly interesting and a really fun read for a middle-grade book!  Simone LaFray is a cross somewhere between Harriet the Spy, Artemis Fowl, and Sherlock Holmes, she notices everything, misses nothing, and is fantastically intelligent!  Simone is an agent for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and following in her mother’s footsteps.  The setting of this book is Paris (I’ve been reading a lot of books set in Paris recently), which is a beautiful backdrop for such a lighthearted story.  Simone’s family owns a patisserie, which is absolutely the dream!  It’s a great place for the story to occupy, with so much beautiful imagery included in the narrative, so many French street names, and an independent, headstrong character in Simone who navigates the city with ease.

This is a short book, but it is packed with fun themes, charming characters, and adventurous espionage!  I would recommend this to all middle-grade readers looking for a quick spy novel with a strong heroine!  I loved this book from start to finish and I am so glad I picked up a copy for my collection! 


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