Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest by Susan Brownrigg cover
Strange things are afoot at The Majestic... Check yourself in for a mystery beside the seaside. Gracie Fairshaw and her family have barely moved into The Majestic, a Blackpool boarding house, when her Ma mysteriously vanishes. Gracie teams up with her younger brother George, siblings Violet and Tom, and maid Phyllis. They must work out why one of the guests – a conman conjurer – has made Ma disappear. Can they get her safely home…

Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest is a middle grade story set in Blackpool in 1935 during the run-up to the illuminations Switch-on ceremony. 

Welcome to Blackpool folks, well mid 1930’s Blackpool. I personally have only ever been there once in my life but this charming book brings back some nice memories. Although, whilst reading this I wish I had a wipe or tissue nearby because there’s a bit about eating seaside chips that made me drool everywhere. Well not really but it did make my mouth water, so keep your eyes open for that tasty description.

Anyway the story follows 14 year old Gracie Fairshaw, younger brother George and Ma who move to Blackpool. Ma has been entrusted as the new Landlady of ‘The Majestic’ – a small hotel but one of the guests is not who they say they are! Then Ma vanishes and it is up to Gracie and George to find out what has happened…

As the story unfolds Susan Brownrigg does a fantastic job of giving you a glimpse into the beauty and vision of Blackpool. The author clearly loves it there and you can tell. It’s a real testament to Blackpool. 

During their investigations, Gracie and George uncover clues, make new friends Tom and Violet (who are awesome by the way) and discover the ‘League of the Shining Star’ who are “always ready to assist” and the most vile and awful villain! Gracie also finds an inner steel and determination, especially when grownups dismiss her story “Adults always believe grown-ups over children”.

She will stop at nothing to protect her family and even as she understands the possible peril that awaits her Ma, she shields it from brother George, nurtures him just as a parent would to protect him. Gracie was also born without the lower part of her left arm but it is not her defining characteristic. All of this makes her such a great lead character. 

This heartwarming and gripping northern mystery is a summer must-read for both children and adults. 

Wanna hear the first Chapter read by the author Susan Brownrigg? Say no more…

Thanks so much to UClan Publishing for letting me have a copy of this to review before it was released. 

Buy on: Amazon

Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest by Susan Brownrigg