Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Tour- The Masters Book by Philip Coleman Review and Giveaway

Today, stopping by Buried in Books is the tour for The Master's Book by Philip Coleman for review. It is a Middle Grade book at a little over 200 pages. It combines mystery and detective work and reminds me somewhat of The Egypt Game, if any of you are familiar with that. Thanks to Candace at CBB Book Promotions for putting this one on my radar! You can follow the rest of the tour HERE.

The Master's Book by Philip Coleman
Available Now
MuseIt Up Publishing
March 2013
E-book 232 pages
To Buy Links-

Synopsis- In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 24. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.

The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at

Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?

Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over. 

I loved the characters in the story. Sean, the Irish boy and his sister Maeve who have just arrived in Brussels because of their dad's job.  The story is told from Sean's point of view, and I love reading from a young boy's point of view. I love to read about how insecure they are and the posturing they do for girls. I always thought the guys had everything figured out. From Sean's point of view, Stephanie, the young black girl that is the other part of this team of sleuths seems to have everything figured out. She comes up with the ideas, and is the one brave enough to carry them out. Plus she's lived in Brussels most of her life so she knows where to go and how to get there.

So Sean, he's living with his sister Mam and Dad in a house where a murder occurred before they rented it. Dad didn't tell anyone because he didn't think it mattered. It did. Mam is none too happy with Dad about it and funnily enough I can't remember too many books where it actually shows Mom and Dad having a fight about anything in MG books unless they are getting a divorce. These two aren't, they are just mad at each other for something. Dad goes for a LONG walk. I think Dad does that more than once. But I liked seeing that Mom and Dad could have a fight with a bit of yelling without the kids getting all broken up about it and the D word being used. This is marriage kids. Mom and Dad make up and things get better. Worse then better.

Stephanie has two parents who are very present and get to be friends with Sean's parents. They go around to each other's houses for dinner, they ferry the kids to and fro. Stephanie's mom gets Sean's mom a job. This is how life should be portrayed in books, because this is natural. They eat! Yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their clothes are described. Yes, I know all very mundane, but don't you wonder about it all. What happens when nothing is happening? I do. What are they eating. What does one wear when guests are coming over for dinner? That is a big question in my mind in real life. What does the house look like?

So the mystery, well Sean is sent to clean the basement and discovers an extra room down there. Actually, Maeve comments on how the basement seems smaller than the rest of the house. Sean works out that the shelves are hiding a door and with Stephanie's guidance, he finds the key. A treasure trove of antiques is hidden in two rooms, but most importantly is a book in a safe, The Master's Book. They only discover what it is after it has been stolen. They are in the library trying to find out about it when they are chased by two thugs who end up dead in the river. Even though the book is gone, they can't quite leave the mystery of the book alone. Who was Mary of Burgundy? What happened to her? Where did the book come from? Who has it now? Why did they want it? Is there a curse on the book? With every answer they get, two more questions pop up and bodies seem to be dropping.

There is a climactic ending that you don't see coming and then the wrap up that explains things nicely. Stephanie and Sean are a good pair, part brains, part brash, part stupidity, part ignorance. They make a good couple. Their romance is very light and sweet and definitely not the focus of the book.

Thanks to Candace's Book Blog and CBB Book Promotions for a review copy of this novel. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the author
Philip Coleman

Philip Coleman has worked as a biologist for most of his life—in Ireland, Belgium and now in Switzerland. Having been an avid reader all his life, he took up writing only in 2006. This is his first published novel. He drew his inspiration for the story from the period he spent working for the EU in Brussels. He has a grown-up son and daughter (who were roughly the same ages as Sean and Maeve during the time in Brussels but otherwise aren’t a bit like them at all!). He now lives in France. 

Find the author-

And for the Giveaway!!


  1. This sounds adorable. It reminds me a bit of the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan in the family dynamics, but in this one their half siblings and it's about Egyptian mythology. While not a book I would pick for myself, I definitely know younger readers who would love it. I'll pass the recommendation along. Thanks Heather!

    1. It wasn't quite Rick Riordan, not as long or as intricate as it is a self contained mystery, but the clues are good and it keeps you guessing. I'd recommend it for your younger readers that don't mind light romance.

  2. I think one of my favorite aspects was some of the things you mentioned. This seems like normal, average people and it portrayed them well. I also LOVED visiting Brussels through it. I actually have a picture tour of the city coming up in a couple days.
    Thanks for hosting a tour stop!

    1. Oh I can't wait to see the picture tour! With my Pinterest board I see so many beautiful cities! I'd love to see the Brussels pictures!

  3. I have to admit, I don't often think about them eating, except for those that emphasize it and then drop it. However, now I think I'll be thinking about it with the next book. :)

    1. It's funny because there is a blog that is called something like-
      But What Were They Eating?- something like that and I always think about it when I'm reading. In the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo, I always tried to be conscious of feeding my characters. And clothing them. Fighting came with the territory but they aren't married, it's YA.

  4. You are right I don't sit and wonder about what they wear and eat and yes you are right it is nice that a fight is portrayed without violence and divorce. The whole mystery sounds interesting as well. I would be creeped out to live in a house where a murder took place!

    1. I asked my husband if he would do that to me and he said "Uh, no! It's kind of important." Good answer Rosie, good answer! And I loved the way the marriages were so normal. I mean no one gets along 100 percent of the time.

  5. Hi all. Thanks for the kind review and the comments. It's hard to write about Brussels without mentioning food. :-)

    1. I was getting hungry with all the dinners and the take out and the burgers, especially the burgers. My weakness. Thanks for stopping by! It's rare when authors do that and much appreciated!

  6. I'm looking forward to this. Loved the comments too.


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