Call of the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Thank you Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Alison Barrow of Black Swan (Transworld Books) at Penguin Random House UK for the opportunity to join the blog tour for the sequel to one of my favourite books of 2020, Away with the Penguins. (See my review at I also enjoyed reading Hazel’s first book, Ellie and the Harpmaker.


Fiercely resilient, singular, always well turned out, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea. Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife. More specifically, she has found a love for penguins!

When she’s invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance. Even though this new adventure it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.  Veronica might just be about to find out that perhaps it’s never too late to shine? 

Please check out the other reviews on the blog tour too

My thoughts:

After enjoying reading Away with the Penguins last year (one of my 5 star reads of 2020), I was eager to read Call of the Penguins, to find out what happened next to Veronica McCreedy, Patrick, Pip etc.

This story is set a year later. We find out how Patrick is coping with working at Locket Island (spoiler alert – there are some problems) and if Veronica is missing adventure and the penguins. I found the story to be emotional, as we found out more about how Veronica had to give up her baby, and what had happened to him to explain why he missed out on his son Patrick growing up.

Veronica has new friendships, including Daisy, her mum Beth and Sir Robert. This book has three narrators. Terry shares the highs and the lows of life at Locket Island, Veronica details her filming adventure and the hassle of dealing with the press and Patrick shares the story of his journey to find out more about his dad.

I loved how the stories about the humans were mixed in with facts about the different types of penguins and the regular reminders about how we are causing damage to the penguins. As Veronica and Daisy remind us on a regular basis, we need to ‘think of the penguins’.

Another lovely book by Hazel Prior, reminding us that it is never too late to have an adventure, to make new friends or to find a new career. There are a couple of sad sections to the story (you may need a tissue), but overall this is an uplifting read and perfect to enjoy on a dark winter evening with a cosy blanket and a hot chocolate (although Veronica would insist on a cup of Darjeeling tea!). Another five star read for me.

Author Bio:

HAZEL PRIOR lives on Exmoor. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist. Hazel is the author of Ellie and the Harp-Maker and Away with the Penguins, which was a #1 bestseller in ebook and audiobook, picked for the Richard & Judy Book Club and for the Radio 2 Book Club. It has now sold over 170,000 copies across all formats and has over 12,000 ratings on Amazon. Hazel’s debut novel, ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER, has also been a top 100 Kindle bestseller and has sold over 20,000 copies in ebook in 2021 alone. Call of the Penguins is her third novel.

Hazel is available for interviews, written pieces, and events. 
For more information, please contact Alison Barrow:| 07970 450 184


By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.


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