Cat Among the Pigeons is the second Cat Royal Adventure; however, you do not need to read the first book, The Diamond of Drury Lane, to enjoy Cat Among the Pigeons.
Catherine “Cat” Royal has a comfortable life as the ward of the Theater Royal of Drury Lane, London. One day, as she’s helping her African friend Pedro prepare for his début as Ariel from The Tempest, Pedro’s old master, Kingston Hawkins, comes to the theater and demands to have him back.
Cat is astonished, since she only knew Pedro as the apprentice of Signor Angelini, the musical director at the Theater Royal. However, she immediately hides Pedro and denies his existence to Hawkins, but Pedro’s he doesn’t believe her.
After Hawkins reluctantly leaves, the story comes out: Pedro really was Hawkins’ slave and the apprenticeship to Signor Angelini was a con pulled by the man Hawkins had loaned Pedro to. But Pedro never said anything because, as he puts it, “. . .the maestro seemed a much better bet than either Grimes or Mr. . . . Mr. Hawkins.”
Hawkins is determined to get Pedro back, whether through the law or by illegally smuggling him out of England, so Cat and Pedro turn to their friends Frank and Lizzie (the children of the Duke of Avon) and Syd Fletcher (Cat’s old friend and leader of the Covent Garden gang) for help. Through Lizzie and Frank they meet a group of Abolitionists who agree to help Pedro any way they can. But Hawkins is willing to do anything to get Pedro back. . . and that includes working with Cat’s old nemesis, Billy “the Boil” Shephard (who also happens to be the leader of a gang that rivals Syd’s). Can Cat help Pedro gain his freedom and deal with Billy before Hawkins does something drastic?
Julia Golding’s Cat Among the Pigeons is an irrepressibly enjoyable book that is filled to the brim with fun, suspense, plenty of danger, and Cat’s unmistakable wit. Cat is a heroine that grabs you by the collar and drags you along into her adventures and the trouble that follows her around, and she doesn’t let go until the end. You cannot help but root for her, especially when you see what she’s up against; that she fights for causes worth fighting for is only an added bonus. Just be warned to start reading this book with time to spare, since you will want to find out how Cat does against her multiple adversaries.