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TAYLOR & ROSE

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Full Name: Sophie Taylor and Lilian Rose
Series Name: Taylor & Rose Secret Agents
Nationality: British
Organization: Secret Service Bureau
Occupation Agent

Creator: Katherine Woodfine
Time Span: 2015 - 2022

ABOUT THE SERIES

Sophie Taylor and Lilian Rose are agents with the British Secret Service Bureau.

Okay, officially they are the two founding partners in the Taylor & Rose Detective Agency but they will come to find one of their most steady 'clients' is the new and highly secretive intelligence organization. 

But first we should back up a bit. And to set the stage best it is important to note that these adventures all take place shortly after the start of the 20th Century. Exactly when I cannot say but I would postulate around 1905.

Taylor is a young woman likely just nearing 18 years old who is thrilled albeit scared to have landed a job in the Millinery Department of Sinclair's, a just-opening huge emporium on Piccadilly Circus eponymously named after a rich American. Her military father had recently died in an accident in South Africa and she was out of funds so she was taking her first steps into the workforce.

Rose is slightly younger, probably 16, who comes from a very well-off family and having a desire to make her name in the entertainment industry as a singer and actress but is also supplementing her income by working as a fashion model at Sinclair's; not being beholden to her family meant not having to asceed to their demands as to her life plans.

The two will meet on their first day and will hit it off beautifully which is good because Taylor will need a friend when she is in the wrong place at the wrong time and is suspected of being part of a major jewelry theft. They will join forces, along with Billy Parker, apprentice porter, and Joe (last name unknown) who works in the stable yard when not having his hand in things a tad less legal.

Their work to solve that mystery will lead to more work on more mysteries and then an offer to help out a private investigator named McDermott who has ties to that Secret Service Bureau and through him now so did they. Which is how when Taylor and Rose decided to open their own agency, at the strong suggestion and financial backing of that rich Sinclair. And it is how the Bureau would find their skills and abilities too good to ignore.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:8
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2022

The adventures of Taylor & Rose do not start with the first of the four stories marked as "Taylor & Rose Secret Agents". Those are specifically marked to show when the two young ladies start to work for a branch of British Intelligence.

We actually meet the pair some time before that when Taylor is a shopgirl at a new department store in London. There are four adventures of the two in that environment, aka Sinclair's, before they don cloaks and pick up daggers, so to speak.


1 The Clockwork Sparrow The Clockwork Sparrow
aka The Mystery of The Clockwork Sparrow
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2015

Book 1 of 4 in the Sinclair's Mysteries series.
"Recently orphaned Sophie Taylor, now a shopgirl at London's newly opened Sinclair's department store, finds herself implicated in the theft of the priceless clockwork sparrow"

2 The Jewelled Moth The Jewelled Moth
aka The Mystery of The Jewelled Moth
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2016

Book 2 of 4 in the Sinclair's Mysteries series.
"Wonder at the puzzling disappearance of the Jewelled Moth! Marvel as our heroines, Sophie and Lil, don cunning disguises, mingle in high society and munch many cucumber sandwiches to solve this curious case! Applaud their bravery as they follow a trail of terrible secrets that leads straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, and could put their own lives at risk . . ."

3 The Painted Dragon The Painted Dragon
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2017

Book 3 of 4 in the Sinclair's Mysteries series.
"When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides! Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead . . ."

4 The Midnight Peacock The Midnight Peacock
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2017

Book 4 of 4 in the Sinclair's Mysteries series.
"You are cordially invited to Sinclair’s Midnight Peacock Ball! The festive season has come to Sinclair’s and Sophie and Lil are spending the holidays at snowy Winter Hall. But it turns out that this is no ordinary house party . . .
As sinister secrets come to light, our intrepid heroines find themselves faced with a more baffling mystery than ever before! 
With the help of their friends, can they uncover the truth in time to foil a truly diabolical plot? Or will Mr Sinclair’s New Year’s Eve Midnight Peacock Ball spell disaster for the dauntless young detectives?


5 Perils In Paris Perils In Paris
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2018

Book 1 of 4 in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series.
"It’s 1911, and the young detectives of TAYLOR & ROSE are turning their talents to espionage. On a case for the mysterious Secret Service Bureau, the daring Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose must leave London for the boulevards and grand hotels of Paris.
But danger lurks beneath the bright lights of the city – and intrigue and murder lie in store. As aeroplanes soar in the skies overhead, our heroines will need to put all their spy skills to the test to face the PERIL that awaits them…"
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6 Spies in St. Petersburg Spies in St. Petersburg
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2019

Book 1 of 4 in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series.
"With Sophie still missing in action after their explosive mission in Paris, Lil decides to take matters into her own hands. On a new mission for the Secret Service Bureau, can Lil find Sophie in misty, mysterious St Petersburg? Can they uncover the identity of their true enemy and can they trust anyone – even the Bureau? It's time for Sophie and Lil to put their spy skills to the test."
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7 Villains in Venice Villains in Venice
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2020

Book 3 of 4 in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series.
"After the dramatic events of their mission to St Petersburg, Sophie and Lil know the truth – there's a double-agent at work at the Secret Service Bureau. Whilst Lil pursues a dangerous line of enquiry in London, Sophie must set out on a new mission to Venice, following a twisted trail to discover long-buried secrets. But there are villains lurking amongst the city's piazzas, canals and crumbling palaces, and in the shadows an old enemy lies in wait…"
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8 Nightfall in New York Nightfall in New York
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2022

Book 4 of 4 in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series.
"Top secret agents, Sophie Taylor and Lil Rose have set sail to New York City on an elegant ocean liner, ready to face their enemies and settle old scores. These two brave friends will need all of their detective skills, courage and derring-do as they race against time to rescue a beloved friend …"
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2020

1 Secrets on the Shore Secrets on the Shore
Written by Katherine Woodfine
Copyright: 2020

Described as a Taylor and Rose mini adventure.
"Sophie and Lil are on their very first case for the Secret Service Bureau in this thrilling e-book novella. They travel to the seaside town of Rye where – despite its sleepy appearance – they have evidence that a band of German spies are plotting dastardly deeds. Can our two brave detectives navigate smugglers tunnels, make it through treacherous sea mists and decode a secret message to solve the mystery?"
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MY COMMENTS

This fun set of cozy mysteries turning into cozy spy stories meant for youngish readers is preposterous, of course, and totally never-gonna-happen but then again, this is fiction and who cares anyways? Certainly, I do not as I got to like the brainy Sophie Taylor and the brass, gutsy Lilian Rose and I took considerable pleasure in knowing that because these were 'cozy' adventures, nothing really bad would happen to the main characters.

Not that nasty folks won't try to get them. They do and the fun comes from the way that Taylor and Rose, along with Billy and Joe, find a way out.

I had not known about the four mysteries that came before the spy adventures but the first page of the first spy story let me know that something went on before so ... off I went to investigate and had my 'aha' moment that paused my spy reading to do some mystery reading for 'context', of course. Such hardships I endure!

These are designed for young readers (or old ones going through their third childhood) and they are pretty good stories for their target audience.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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