The Trouble with Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon


The Trouble with Goats and Sheep


Joanna Cannon.

Summer, 1976.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-years-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

But as doors and mouths begin to open and the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find more than they could have imagined …

I stumbled upon Goats and Sheep whilst browsing in Waterstones, Truro. Glancing through books, reading various blurbs, flicking through pages, savouring that lovely ‘new book’ smell that lingers in the air, I stopped in my tracks as soon as I saw it, immediately drawn to that magnificent blue cover. It had its own display table in the centre of the shop, residing under a pool of warm light, drawing me over like a moth to a flame. It stood out from the rest and enticed me in with the promise of a wonderful read.
After reading the first sentence, I bought it on the spot. And walking out the doors, the book clutched tight to my chest, I knew it was going to be special – it was!
Since then, I’ve read it twice and enjoyed it immensely. It is one of my favourite reads of this year. So if you are debating buying the paperback edition – published 26/12/2016 – as a post-Christmas present for a loved one, or even a sneaky treat for yourself, I would thoroughly recommend snatching a copy from the nearest shelf, running to the pay desk, slamming the money down and saying to the slightly surprised bookseller ‘I HAVE to have this’!

Set against a backdrop of a 1970s East Midlands town in a scorching heat wave, we are introduced to Grace, a ten-year-old girl with reams of charm and determination, and her friend, kind, sweet-natured Tilly. On a Monday morning panic spreads across The Avenue, rattling the lives of everyone there as they discover Mrs Creasy has disappeared. We are taken on Grace and Tilly’s journey as they go from door to door, trying to ferret out clues as to where Mrs Creasy has disappeared to and why. But what they discover on their quest is that the people closest to them could quite possibly be more goat than sheep…

Told through the eyes of various residents, predominantly Grace, this story unfolds beautifully. Sucked into Joanna Cannon’s East Midlands’s town and into the lives of those who live on The Avenue, we are all the while wondering if Grace and Tilly will ever find Mrs Creasy and if the secrets that wind themselves between the houses, will ever come to light…

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is an exquisitely written debut novel, well-paced with distinct narrative. Perceptive, insightful and at times witty, this touching story, with its colourful array of characters and seamlessly added details from the ‘70s, captivated me from the very first sentence.

I love this book – it is an absolute delight from start to finish. It’s perfect to cuddle up with on the sofa, dog on your lap and a hot chocolate in your hand.

I’m so looking forward to reading Joanna Cannon’s next novel.

For more about Joanna Cannon, you can visit her website:

If you’d like to buy Goats and Sheep online here’s a link:

Thank you so much for reading my first review. Hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave any comments. x

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