Book Review: THE BOOKSHOP AT THE BACK OF BEYOND by Amy Sparkes (Middle Grade Monday)

I received an eARC from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in black on yellow and green background with a magical house in corner
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: book three



Book cover for THE BOOKSHOP AT THE BACK OF BEYOND: title in white on a house on green with magical smoke and a flying woman

Nine and her friends have cured the house’s hiccups and are off to the strange and utterly unpredictable Back of Beyond in search of Professor Dish – Spoon’s best friend and partner in all things alchemy.

When they find Dish trapped by the greedy witch Ophidia in the basement of a particularly marvellous shop, it soon becomes clear they’re going to need something more than Flabberghast’s dicey magic and Nine’s quick thinking to triumph this time. What they really need is a rather clever witch – one particularly good at curses…

Blurb taken from publicity material. Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


THE BOOKSHOP AT THE BACK OF BEYOND is another tale of magic and mayhem. The travelling house has arrived at Beyond to look for Professor Dish (Dr Spoon’s partner in alchemy), but unfortunately there are witches and a wizard with grudges after them.

Beyond is probably the worst shopping experience you can imagine. You have to shop in every shop, buying something, which would be horrible enough on its own, but you don’t really get good customer service. There are candle shops where the candles talk and flash on and off. There are grumpy shop keepers and books that attack you to make you buy them. Not to mention that not all the bookshops are open…

It’s is also a story about secrets and lies, Nine and Flabberghast and the witches holding secrets of their own, withholding information they know others would like to know and making plans that will hurt others. And at it all, the plans of the worst witch of them all are slowly becoming clear…

I love love love the names people get in this world. “The Unpredictable”, “The Indubitably Dubitable”. They’re not your usual heroic names (no “the Brave” for example) and they just add to the off-kilter feel of the world.

It’s fun and quirky and very much a book to gobble down with laughter. It was nice to get the resolution to the Dish and Spoon story line that’s played out over the past two books, while introducing another bizarre and wonderful world. Plus there is more set up for an inevitable big show down with Flabberghast’s aunt.

Read my reviews of other books by Amy Sparkes:

The House at the Edge of Magic (this series):

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