Chapter Book Review: Kate on the Case – The Headline Hoax by Hannah Peck

Cover image by Hannah Peck, published by Piccadilly Press, 12th January 2023

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis will know just how much I love a good whodunnit, give me a novel with a mystery at its centre and I will generally read the book in one sitting. This was certainly my experience on picking up The Headline Hoax, the third mystery in the Kate on the Case series! I adored every single aspect of this book!

Let’s start with the fact that Hannah Peck both writes and illustrates this series and performs both of these tasks with elegance and panache. The beautiful pen and ink artwork which is liberally highlighted in a golden yellow, perfectly combines with the precisely worded text to invite the reader into the offices of The Lookout Post and does not allow you to leave until the mysterious hoaxer has been uncovered. The Lookout Post is a grand old newspaper and the publisher of undercover scoops by famous investigative reporter, Catherine Rodríguez, Kate’s ultimate idol. Visiting as a birthday treat with her Dad and faithful mouse sidekick, Rupert, Kate finds herself invited to the luxurious top floor offices of Figgy Fitzharris III, the CEO of the grand publishing institution. There she is tasked with a mission; to uncover the hoaxer who is sabotaging the newspaper which has resulted in some seriously embarrassing headlines.

As she carries out her investigation from editing suite to printing press, Kate meets an intriguing cast of characters, all of whom are brought to life with subtle wordplay. From Hilda Hoop the fashion editor, through Smarty Jones the sports correspondent to Penny Press the eagle-eyed proofreader, each employee has their own quirks and distinctive personalities which emerge through the narrative and illustrations. Referring frequently to extracts from The Special Correspondent Manual, written by the aforementioned Catherine Rodríguez, Kate demonstrates logic, rigour and single-mindedness to sift the clues and discover the villain, aided by her small but essential friend.

In a week when I have seen and heard reports about the essential need to encourage children to read for pleasure, I can only encourage you to offer Kate on the Case: The Headline Hoax to a child of 7 years+, whether in a home, classroom or library. Although it is the third book in the series it can absolutely be read as a standalone story. I think this is so important as many children in this time of economic difficulty have to rely on libraries or classroom collections to obtain books and very often find that they cannot read a favourite series in the correct order. Independent readers will find this book an utter joy to read, with its short chapters, playful font effects and generous helping of illustrations; if you are an adult sharing the reading of this story with a less confident reader, I hope that you find as much to enjoy on its pages as I did!

I am most grateful to Antonia Wilkinson and Piccadilly Press for my gifted copy. The Headline Hoax was published on 12th January 2023 and is available from all good booksellers.

You can read my review of the opening book in the Kate on the Case series here.


4 thoughts on “Chapter Book Review: Kate on the Case – The Headline Hoax by Hannah Peck

    1. I have just borrowed book 1 from the local library to catch up on the back story. I know so many children who would have loved this had it been available when I worked in school library! Such a lovely book to own too, will be one that I gift to young relatives in future.

      Liked by 1 person

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