Nathan’s father has been arrested. He works for the Ministry of Defence and is accused of leaking top secret information. But as he is dragged into a police car, he gives Nathan a message. It leads to a riddle, but it’s not from Dad. It’s from an ex-Bletchley Park employee, Lily Kenley, and was written in 1940. Nathan begins to follow the clues left behind by Lily. But how can this war-time story link to his father’s fate? Hope for Dad’s appeal is fading fast. He must solve the puzzle. Time is running out.
It is 2084. Nuclear radiation has poisoned the country. Society has fallen apart. Starvation is rampant, and power shortages have resulted in piles of obsolete gadgetry. Necessity has driven those who’ve survived to complete self-reliance, if they have the means to do so. For Melissa and her Nan, survival is just about possible, so long as they can guard the tiny crop of potatoes in their back garden and find enough fuel to cook on – and as long as they are safely barricaded inside their home by curfew. For after dark, feral dogs hunt, and violent gangs from the old Olympic Stadium (now a miserable ghetto) roam to loot and plunder. If they catch you, they are not merciful; so when Melissa falls into the hands of Careem’s gang, her prospects look bleak. But Careem soon realises that she might just be more valuable alive, as a ransom victim. However, he hasn’t reckoned with Melissa’s resourcefulness. Soon part of his young gang are completely beguiled by Melissa and her story of a hidden valley in Scotland – a place that sounds like a comparative paradise, if they can get there. But apparently only Melissa knows the way, and only she can lead them there. But Melissa is hiding a secret. She has never been to Scotland in her life, let alone a mythically Elysian valley there. Can Melissa’s stories keep her alive long enough to escape – or will they get her killed?
A BLEAKLEY BROTHERS MYSTERY by OSBERT THE AVENGER author Christopher William Hill
What’s that you say? You’re off to Bleakley Manor? On Michaelmas eve? But dear child, hasn’t anyone told you the legend of Old Bramble Head, who rises once a year to claim another victim from the unfortunate Bleakley household…
Which one will it be this time? And could there be foul play? Crime-busting brothers Horatio and Eustace Bleakley feel certain they smell a rat. Or is that Cook’s dinner?
More importantly, can they solve the mystery before another Bleakley bites the dust?
Go ahead and find out… if you dare!
Ovid and Lorelli Thornthwaite have been trying to kill each other for so long that neither twin can remember which act of attempted murder came first. But whoever struck first, trying to take each other’s lives is simply what they do. Until one day a lawyer arrives at their house to take stock of its contents, and his accompanying son attracts their attention. Soon a new battle evolves – one in which the twins have to work together to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths. Can Lorelli and Ovid overcome their old animosities, and will they ever get to finish that game of chess?
When detective Dirk Dilly gets a call from Holly, a young girl whose pet cat has gone missing, the dragon ends up with not only a new case to solve but also a self-appointed partner-in-solving-crime. And it turns out that Holly’s cat is just the beginning! As the pair hunt for clues, Dirk spots other dragons flying over the city – and not the good kind. Dirk has a hunch they might just be involved, but will he and Holly be able prevent further cat-astrophe before it’s too late?
Dirk Lloyd, the Dark Lord trapped in the body of a weedy schoolboy, returns in another darkly hilarious adventure… Brilliantly funny and subversive, this is the Funny Prize-winning Jamie Thomson at his best.
Sooz, a 13 yr old girl from Surrey has become the Dark Mistress of Dirk’s other worldly kingdom, the Darklands. Thanks to the Ring of Power given to her by Dirk, his minions recognise her as their ruler. Sooz immediately sets about redecorating Dirk’s Dark Tower to the taste of a young girl.
But Sooz has to face her toughest challenge when an army of fanatical paladins and orcs gather to march against her. Despite their centuries of hostility to each other, they prefer to form an alliance rather than accept Sooz’s new regime.
And what of Dirk? He continues on slaving away at school, plotting ways to rescue Sooz. Eventually he is able to advise her on life in the Darklands and Sooz is able to hold back the fanatical paladins.
There was once a farm where all the animals were friends. Together they looked after the farm and each other. It wasn t perfect and they didn t always agree (animals almost never do). But they liked it.
One day the geese begin to gossip. Before long they hatch a plan to leave the farm. Will life be perfect now?
A powerful modern-day fable for our times told with humour and warmth, and most importantly, hope. A story of building bridges not barriers, respect not resentment and of finding friendship, not fear.
Austria 1945. After losing his family, Jakob shelters with Herr Engel in a rural stable, where they hide the precious Lipizzanner stallions they know Hitler wants to steal. When a German officer comes looking for Jakob and finds the horses, Jakob and his guardian know they must get the stallions to safety, but the only way is straight through Nazi territory. Joined by Kizzy, an orphan Roma girl, the three must guide the horses across the perilous Austrian mountains. Will they reach safety? What will be waiting for them on the other side?
Daphne is off to St Rita’s, an exclusive girls’ boarding school. It sounds awfully respectable and Daphne herself is awfully respectable too. She loves to read, and is delighted to be offered the chance to interview for Librarian’s assistant’s assistant immediately upon arrival. But it turns out nothing is quite what you’d expect at St Rita’s – you can’t trust a padlock if the fourth graders are around, the floor has holes from cannonballs, the smell in the dining room is disgustingly foul, and Daphne discovers the librarian doesn’t really exist. But there is a librarian’s assistant, Emily Lime. And she’s really a crime-solving genius, who’s looking for a new assistant of her own. And booksmart Daphne is just the girl for the job, because mystery and intrigue are about to strike St Rita’s and Emily Lime is going to need all the help she can get…
The first book in the gruesomely funny Tales from Schwartzgarten series.
Meet Osbert Brinkhoff, the unlikeliest of avengers. His is a tale of dark delights and ghastly goings-on, of injustice and revenge. The villains are vicious. The settings are sinister. And good does NOT always prevail…
If you prefer cleavers to kittens and fiends to fairies…then welcome to the GRUESOMELY FUNNY Tales from Schwartzgarten.