My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’d heard about Rapley’s Pony Detective series on the grapevine and marked it down as one to watch. It’s a series of books, for sort of seven / eight year olds and upwards, set around a group of pony-obsessed friends who also solve mysteries. Think something like the great, great Saddle Club meets the equally great Famous Five and you’ve got Pony Detectives. Or well, to be a bit more precise, you have something approximating Pony Detectives. Once you throw in some healthy horse knowledge (Rapley so very much knows her stuff), some healthy (and unhealthy!) drama, and a dash of an own-a-pony day, you have this series down to a T.
Oh guys, this is lovely. I can’t reccomend this enough for those of you who have pony obssessed children, know pony obsessed children or who were pony obsessed children. Can I tell you I was the latter? I had a horse, too, after years of Scrooge-like saving. He was ace was Robert. Solid, tank-tastic, and randomly amazing at dressage. To give the latter fact a little bit of context, he was a 16.2hh shire cross with hooves the size of dinner plate. Not one that you’d expect to be good at dressage and yet, when he wanted to, he would throw in a change of leg and a half pass that made me hit cloud nine.
And Rapley gets that, she gets that so much. She gets that phase of losing yourself in ponies, and of finding yourself too. Her characters are funny, fallible (so key in books like this) and lovely. And good friends, too, the best of friends when it counts! I loved this book. It’s full of so much heart. And horses. Heart and horses. That’s it. That’s so very much it.