This is book number 1 in the Adventures on Trains series.
In The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1, a middle-grade series starter from MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, a young boy is swept up in an investigation to uncover the perpetrator of a jewel theft.
When eleven-year-old Harrison "Hal" Beck is forced to accompany his travel-writer uncle on the last journey of a royal train, he expects a boring trip spent away from video games and children his age.
But then Hal spots a girl who should not be on board, and he quickly makes friends with the stowaway, Lenny. Things get even more interesting when the royal prince and princess board for the last leg of the journey—because the princess's diamond necklace is soon stolen and replaced with a fake! Suspicion falls on the one person who isn't supposed to be there: Lenny.
It's up to Hal, his keen observation, and his skill as a budding sketch artist to uncover the real jewel thief, clear his friend's name, and return the diamond necklace before The Highland Falcon makes its last stop.
Praise for The Highland Falcon Thief:
"M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman bring the classic mystery on a train bang up to date with a carriage-load of wit and suspense." —Ross Welford, author of Time Travelling With a Hamster
"A thrill-ride of a mystery, guaranteed to be one of the most fun, atmospheric page turners of 2020." —Lauren St. John, author of Kat Wolfe Investigates
"A runaway romp of a read." —Piers Torday, author of The Lost Magician
"A fabulous fast-paced ride, packed with clues, illustrations and intrigue." —Bookseller
"Illustrated with lively black-and-white drawings, this well-constructed, fast-paced mystery is the first volume in the Adventures on Trains series." —Booklist
"[A] light-hearted whodunit with a mixture of royalty, socialites, and commoners. ... The constant twists, turns, and misdirection keeps readers guessing until the guilty are revealed. Train enthusiasts, mystery buffs, and adventurers alike won’t be able to resist this fast-moving quest." —The Bulletin
Praise for Beetle Boy:
"Debut novelist Leonard gives readers a rare glimpse into the world of insects, mixing adventure, mystery, and science to create a story that's much more than just a novel about bugs. Even the most squeamish will be charmed." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Leonard unravels the madcap plot in sporadic bursts of frenzied action and humor. Overall, a charming and (at times) affecting romp through beetle land." —Kirkus Reviews
"Fans of madcap adventures and anthropomorphised sidekicks will enjoy this fast-paced series opener." —Booklist
"Engaging . . . The story moves quickly, and the characters are both wacky and entertaining." —School Library Journal
"If I didn't already devote most of my waking hours to beetles, reading this book would make me want to . . ." —Max Barclay, Coleoptera Collections Manager, Natural History Museum, London