FeaturedMiddle Grade Fantasy

Katie Watson and the Painter's Plot


Loved it! 😍

Recommended for those who like their time travel spiced up with murderous intrigue.

Katie Watson is just the sort of character I enjoy most: a sassy twelve year old in search of adventure, who also likes to read. When the story opens, she’s dreading what she thinks will be a boring summer, and sulking over a forced separation from her favorite horse and older brother. Then her English grandparents take her to tour a local castle, where Katie’s wish for adventure propels her back through a magic painting into the 1600s. She is discovered by Princess Sophia, a girl her own age, and they instantly become friends (because the princess is sassy too).

There’s a bit too much scene-setting in the beginning, but once we go back in time it’s a grand romp through the old castle, complete with secret doors and dining details (for both servants and royalty). There’s also a wild horse, plenty of lords and ladies, and a shocking murder. 

While the some of the plot devices are a bit cliché, there are enough unique twists and historical details to add depth and keep the story from becoming too predictable. The ending is a perfect example of why predictable is still satisfying; Katie defies personal danger to stand up for what’s right, but she also slays some personal demons along the way. Though I did spot a few minor typos and grammatical issues, they didn't interfere with a great read. Though this is written for a middle grade audience, I'd recommend it for readers of any age who like their time travel spiced up with murderous intrigue. 

Reviewed by

All four of my books share three common elements: a coastal setting, boats, and a happy ending. I’ve also written several award-winning stories. My weekly blog includes the occasional book review (interspersed with publishing and boat chat), and I'd love to have you subscribe!

The Doomed Summer

About the author

Mez Blume grew up in the USA, spending every spare moment in the forest. At 21, she followed her nose to England and studied Gothic Cathedrals. Mez lives in Berkshire with her husband Gordon and Jack Russell Terrier Hugo. She still spends every spare moment in the forest. view profile

Published on December 10, 2017

Published by River Otter Books

60000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Reviewed by