Ruby Redfort will already be familiar to Lauren Child fans as she is the fictional heroine of a series of books beloved of Clarice Bean, star of Lauren’s wonderful series for younger readers. Now Lauren has given Ruby her own series and aimed the books at the 9-12 age group who having adored Clarice will undoubtedly take Ruby to their hearts also. Ruby like many of Lauren Child’s characters is larger than life yet utterly believable. She is a genius code cracker with a nose for mysteries making her the perfect candidate to be recruited as a spy. Together with her close friend Clancy and her ever present butler or should that be “household manager” Ruby manages to solve the puzzles and save the day. Lauren consulted with a maths professor to create unique puzzles to challenge readers and hopefully instil and encourage an appreciation for maths. The book is a fast paced thrill ride with a retro feel reminiscent of Nancy Drew of the Hardy Boys but bursting with Lauren Child’s trademark wit.