We had not read the first two books of this series when we read this one, and that was not a problem. Apparently, earlier in the series, Molly Moon escapes from the dreary orphanage in which she is confined by becoming a master hypnotist and defeating her uncle, who is an evil madman.
In this episode, Molly must learn to travel through time so she can rescue her beloved dog, Petula, her friends Forest and Rocky, and her earlier selves, all of whom have been kidnapped from the present to India in the 1870s.
The plot is twisty and interesting and Molly is a wonderful role model for gifted children. She has obviously had to work hard to learn to be a great hypnotist in previous books. Now that Molly is possibly the best hypnotist in the world, there are still other challenging skills she needs to work hard to learn. Skills that some adults around her have mastered and other adults are just adequate at doing. Time-travel for one.
Another endearing trait that Molly has is that she is very aware both of her great abilities and of her shortcomings. The all-knowing narrator of the book takes especial care to let us know what Molly is thinking when she masters her self-doubts, carefully thinks through her options, and then puts her all into implementing whatever solution she thinks will work best.