REVIEW: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

REVIEW: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon


‘Mrs Creasy disappeared on a Monday.

I know it was a Monday, because it was the day the dustbin men came, and the avenue was filled with a smell of scraped plates.

England, the summer of 1976 and the heat is blazing and Mrs Creasy is missing.

The avenue is alive with whispers, as the heat mingles with the swirling dust of rumours and long-buried secrets, bringing old resentments to the surface.

For ten-year-old Grace and her best friend Tilly the mystery is a welcome distraction from the usual round of summer holiday boredom and as the summer shimmers endlessly on, they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Yet as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined…’



This book started off brilliantly. The writing style was fun, the setting was a quaint British village, the characters were interesting, and the plot was intriguing. About a third of the way through the novel things started going downhill. The plot lost direction. Things were mentioned and never addressed or explained again and the ending! Don’t get me started on the ending!

I don’t want this to be an all-negative review because like said, this book started off really well. I found Cannon’s writing style really endearing and I loved the characters Grace and Tilly who were undoubtedly the books saviours. There is something just lovely and innocent to me about an adult book being told from a child’s perspective. In this book, it added humour, insight and a moral compass but unfortunately, Cannon did not stick with just Grace’s perspective. She switched randomly between different characters which took away from the novel in my opinion.

I cannot in good conscience recommend that you read this book because the ending left me so annoyed that I wouldn’t want to put any of you through it. I honestly considered for a moment that I’d missed a chapter or that some of the pages had fallen out.

The story did not come to a conclusion and for a book that markets itself as a quirky mystery, this is a HUGE flaw. I even had to go on the GoodReads comments page just to check if I was crazy or if everyone felt the same and there did seem to be a general consensus about the ending. One user even commented that they threw the book across the room after finishing it because they were so unhappy with the ending!

(Maybe this book had a higher/intellectual meaning to its ending and if it did, I’m sorry Joanne but that went completely over my head.)

It is a shame that this book lost direction because it had so much potential. I adored the writing style and I love a novel told from the perspective of a child but unfortunately, this book just fell at the last hurdle for me. That being said, I don’t think it would put me off reading any more of Cannon’s work in the future, but I will make sure I read some reviews first this time!


Thanks for reading! Have you read this book? What did you think of the ending? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

  1. I have not read this book, but I HAVE read books that left me feeling disappointed like this. What happened? A sudden deadline? Pages missing? A formatting issue? Or just…poor planning. I have no problem with plotters or planners, whatever gets the book written, but I HATE it when the resolution isn’t satisfying. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

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