cover image The Pearl Thief

The Pearl Thief

Elizabeth Wein, read by Maggie Service. Bolinda Audio, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4894-0368-1

This coming-of-age adventure set in 1938 Scotland has 16-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart on a final summer visit to the Scottish estate of her late grandfather, which has been sold to cover his hospital bills. There, Julia learns that the person hired to assess the estate’s antiquities has gone missing. Then Julia is knocked out while on a walk by the lake and left for dead. She’s rescued by Euan and Ellen, twin teens of the McEwen traveler clan, and when Euan is blamed for the assault, Julia has to find the real attacker. Actor Service is particularly adept at quick-changing from Julia’s sweetly open, unconsciously aristocratic yet self-aware narration to the voices of an assortment of other richly developed characters, including her worldly dowager countess grandmother, the unemotional Inspector Milne, and the bullying Sergeant Henderson. The rough Scottish burr Service provides Julia’s grandad contrasts nicely with the more lyrical voices of the twins, pleasant Euan and his spikier sister Ellen. A nearly-15-minute author’s note includes a fascinating history of Scottish travelers and their connection to freshwater pearl mussels, capping off this swift-moving audiobook. Ages 12–up.[em] A Hyperion hardcover. (July) [/em]