Helen Watts Author

No Stone Unturned

No Stone Unturned
by Helen Watts (Bloomsbury, ACB Originals, ISBN 9781472905406).
Released 11 September 2014.

"A fabulous historical mystery."
Recommended by The Bookbag


The Bookbag

Ooh! No Stone Unturned is a fabulous historical mystery. Did the limestone from Wilmcote end up in the Houses of Parliament? To whom does the boot belong? What happened to Ben's ancestors? Kelly is a stalwart investigator because she is such a curious soul. She's bright and interested and motivated to learn. I really liked her as a central character. And she gets to the truth in the end. And as a traveller, Kelly has plenty of obstacles to overcome: the reluctance of her family to allow her to carry on at school; the distrust and bullying from her classmates. But perhaps the loneliness is the worst. With no friends at school and the other travellers away, it's no surprise that Kelly quickly grows quite dependent on her new friend Ben. He's her only friend, you see. So she overlooks the strange things about him and concentrates on their shared interest in the mystery of what happened in Wilmcote a hundred and fifty years ago. So. You have an interesting and fabulously well-researched historical mystery. You have a contemporary story that speaks of bullying, discrimination and loneliness. And you have an interesting and spunky central character. What more could you want? Like I say: I loved this story. And one of the most fabulous things about it is the author's note at the end. So much of it is true! I shan't say exactly what for fear of spoiling, but I will say that Wilmcote does exist - in case you didn't know and Watts lives there! - local limestone was used for the flooring in the Houses of Parliament, and, if you want to know more, you'll have to read the book. What is so great, though, is that this whole story was conceived from local historical events. As Watts says in her note, who knows what stories readers could uncover in their own local histories? I love that thought. And I loved this book. 

Read the full review on The Bookbag website 

Stratford Herald, 25 Sept 2014

This book is different from the usual  fiction. From the word go I couldn't put the book down - there is something truly magical yet real about it. ... This mesmerising book is full of substance ... No Stone Unturned is a fascinating read, picking up momentum until it becomes irresistible.

Read the full review by Sandy Holt, Arts Editor, Stratford Herald

Parents in Touch

Traveller girl Kelly is an outsider at school, but is determined not to give in, hard though it is. Things change when she meets Ben, who offers to help Kelly with her history project. What seems straightforward turns into a mesmerising tale involving dark secrets which impact on the present day. The historical detail of Victorian life is spot-on and gives a very realistic picture of the period. There's a lot going on in this story yet the strands interweave perfectly to produce an engrossing read which moves seamlessly between past and present and shows how we are never free of the past. The reader will warm to Kelly and the book handles the issue of bullying and being different with great understanding.

See the review on the Parents in Touch website

Young Writers

A tense, moving mystery with brilliant historical detail of Victorian life, by the author of the Carnegie-nominated One Day In Oradour.

Read the full review on the Young Writers website

Stratford Observer, 11 September 2014

No Stone Unturned tells the tale of Kelly, an isolated traveller girl unhappy at her new school in Stratford until the day when she meets Ben who offers to help with her history project. The investigation quickly grows and Kelly begins to discover a surprising secret deep in the village's abandoned quarry. And soon the mystery of the past is spilling into her own life, meaning Kelly must bring the long-buried truth to light.

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