Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard (Chicken House)
Darkus knows that the investigation into his father’s sudden disappearance is dubious. He is certain that foul play is afoot and his father is still alive. Dr Bartholomew Cuttle, Director of Science at the National History Museum, may be absent minded, but he is the sort of Dad who ‘played football on Sunday’ and ‘teased his son about his unruly hair’.
Friends made at the new school to which Darkus enrols when he goes to live with his Uncle Max, join him on his hunt for clues. A more unlikely ally is Baxter, a rhinoceros beetle who turns up on his trouser leg.
Discoveries made at the vault, where his father was last seen, and at the house next door to his uncle’s, convince Darkus that he is on the right track to solving the mystery, saving his father and possibly, exposing the Fabre Project.
This is a fast paced, convincing and amusing story. Dramatic, inventive characters, reminiscent of ‘101 Dalmatians’ or, sometimes, ‘Home Alone’, exist within a slapstick world of entomology. http://bookwagon.co.uk/product/beetle-boy/
‘Beetle Queen’, the second book in the series expands upon the story of the ghastly, yet fascinating, villain Lucretia Cutter. It also lets us into the horror that is Novak’s world. http://bookwagon.co.uk/product/beetle-queen/
M.G. Leonard’s own website is worth exploring too:- http://www.mgleonard.com. Her debut is as strong as a welter weight of beetles hurtling down Humphrey and Pickering. I can’t wait for the third in this exciting and unexpected series! Bronnie