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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Salt by Helen Laycock is an intriguing and mysterious story which begins with Toby receiving a pink envelope addressed to him. His brother starts making fun of him, saying he has a girlfriend. The letter is from Great-Aunt Winifred and she invites Toby to join her on her travels as she thinks an injection of youth is a tonic for someone old like her. A holiday at Pirates’ Cove is the last thing Toby had expected and Toby, Great-Aunt Winifred, and Rufus, her rat, take a train and go to Pirates' Cove. They stay at the Salt guesthouse, which stands on the sea front of Pirates’ Cove. Toby realizes that not everything is right at the guesthouse. He runs into Hattie in the town as he is searching for a present for his Aunt Win. Together with her dog, Scamp, and Rufus, Toby and Hattie must unravel the secrets of the Salt guesthouse.
The story is filled with adventure, mystery, suspense, and intrigue, and the author builds up all these elements with an urgency that will have young readers curious and gasping for more. The story has all the ingredients that make it adventurous, exciting, and mysterious, with villains, secret tunnels, whimsy, and realistic characters which will keep young readers glued to it till the very end. All the happenings, coupled with the fluidity in expression, give the story a good pace and movement. With her detailed narration, the author paints a vivid image of the characters and the scenes, and will take you back to the era of Enid Blyton and her children's mystery books.