The Highland Falcon Thief

The Highland Falcon Thief
Adventures on Trains Book One
Written by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Middle Grade, Adventure, Friendship, Mystery
Published January 31st 2020
256 Pages
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia
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Harrison Beck is reluctantly joining his travel writer Uncle Nate for the last journey of the royal train, The Highland Falcon. But as the train makes its way to Scotland, a priceless brooch goes missing, and things are suddenly a lot more interesting. As suspicions and accusations run high among the passengers, Harrison begins to investigate and uncovers a few surprises along the way. Can he solve the mystery of the jewel thief and catch the culprit before they reach the end of the line?

Hear whispers in the dining car, find notes in the library, and unknown passengers among the luggage as you help Harrison to solve the mystery aboard one of the world's grandest trains. Fast paced and packed with illustrations and clues, Adventures on Trains is a stop you won't want to miss!
Eleven year old Harrison Beck is spending four days with his eccentric uncle and author Nathaniel Bradshaw, journeying across the British countryside upon The Highland Falcon, his mother heavily pregnant with her second child. bringing a new sibling for Harrison into the world. Harrison reluctantly boards The Highland Falcon, a steam powered locomotive on her final journey before decommissioned into retirement. Harrison isn't a train enthusiast like his uncle, documenting her final journey but adventure awaits onboard the locomotive for the wealthy and infamous passengers, a stowaway and the British Prince and Princess as a jewel thief journeys among them.

Harrison is a lovely young man, courteous and reluctantly boards The Highland Falcon, the only child on the journey from Crewe to Scotland until Harrison discovers a young stowaway. Marlene Singh is a railroad enthusiast and befriends Harrison as they begin their adventure across Britain.

The jewel heist has begun. Someone had been thieving from wealthy socialites and society members and when a brooch, earrings and and absurdly, the Atlas Diamond necklace as worn under security by the royal Princess herself disappears onboard, Harrison and Marlene are determined to unravel the mystery and find the culprit.

The Highland Falcon Thief is unequivocally delightful. A mystery adventure on the railway, surprising and wonderfully engaging. Throughout the narrative, learning about the romance of the railways was lovely, the almost obsolete steam powered locomotives and the journey onboard, an adventure itself. As Harrison sketches various scenes of interest, the illustrations are recreated throughout, enchanting and delighting middle grade readers. Simply brilliant.


  1. Ooh, this sounds so fun! I love a good middle grade mystery!

  2. This book sounds so interesting, I'd love to give it a go!

  3. I have a deep-seated love for a train-ride holiday. I've been through long train rides in Europe ages ago, always going from one spot to another and never enjoying it and I very much want to -- I completely got caught up in the fun aspect of a train ride by the end of your review! I would love to go on adventure with Harrison and Marlene on a train like this. This sounds like so much fun!

  4. This sounds like a lot of fun! And can I go on a train ride through the British countryside please? Haha sounds awesome.

    Glad this was so good. :)

  5. This sounds like such a fun read! Love your review, Kelly :)


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