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The Secret Of The Golden Flower by Caroline Stellings

Teenage spy and kung fu expert Nicki Haddon is back!

The second book in the Nicki Haddon Mystery, The Secret Of The Golden Flower once again features Nicki Haddon, now sixteen years old. The book begins with her arrival in London, where she will be undercover helping the British Secret Service infiltrate a drug cartel that is smuggling large amounts of heroin into the country. She has to keep her mission a secret, even from her parents, who think she is here to train at a martial arts school for elite athletes.

Her ally is Fenwick, the family’s butler at her home in Toronto’s exclusive Bridal Path. Yup, if you haven’t gathered yet, her adopted parents are super rich. Her mom makes regular visits to a plastic surgeon in London. The Haddon’s own an upscale chain of hotels around the world and had adopted Nicki from China as an infant sixteen years ago. If you’ve read the first book The Scratch On The Ming Vase, you’d know that one of the things Nicki wants most in this world is to find her birth parents, and find out why they abandoned her. In The Secret Of The Golden Flower, this is also her side mission. Will she accomplish this by the end of the book?

Fenwick the Butler, has arranged for Nicki to stay with his sister Emma (without actually telling Emma who Nicki really is). His sister needs a boarder, badly, and --despite her desperation-- is not really keen on warming up to the sixteen-year-old. The reason, Nicki finds out later is because she lost her daughter (same age as Nicki) a year prior.

The story of the Butler and Nicki, feels like it’s a chip of the classic story of Gotham (from DC’s Batman story arc), complete with chasing bad guys and good eventually triumphing evil. Inevitably it is easy to see the same relationship between Nicki and Fenwick mirroring that of a young Bruce Wayne and Alfred.

Nicki’s mission in The Secret Of The Golden Flower is to uncover a plot to create a super-potent opiate. In the journey she also discovers a royal connection that goes all the way back to Queen Victoria.

The book is a quick read. Personally I would recommend it for younger readers, as the reading level is very basic. Currently it is labeled as teen fiction for ages 12+. But I welcome comments on what other readers think of this rating. Although not complicated, and a plot that is somewhat predictable, the protagonist is likeable as are the characters around her relatable.

The Secret Of The Golden Flower is published by Second Story Press

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle)