The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse


The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse is the first book in a highly promising new detective mystery series by Mark Dawson.  Lucy, Max, Joe and Charlie are an unlikely group of friends.  They are all very different personalities, with wildly differing interests and backgrounds.  When one cold February night down by Southwold beach, Max notices a suspicious-looking man brandishing a lantern, he has little idea what this will lead him and his friends into.  The man appears to be signaling to a boat offshore.  Max tells Lucy, Joe and Charlie about what he has seen and the group quickly become embroiled in a smuggling caper.

None of the adults in authority will believe them, not least the very unfriendly harbour master, Mr Creech.  When local businessman and society figure Mr DeHavilland becomes implicated, the children are left to solve the mystery themselves.

The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse is a very exciting and absorbing mystery thriller than is bound to keep readers enthralled as they surf the wave of the twisting, hurtling plot.

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The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse

The After School Detective Club 1

Mark Dawson and Allan Boroughs, illustrated by Ben Mantle

(Welbeck Flame)

The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse is the first in an exciting new mystery series.  It blends modern day derring-do and a traditional whodunnit mystery with a sharp idea for local history.  There is more than a whiff of contemporary alternative to Enid Blyton here and no less thrilling for that. Featuring lively illustrations by Ben Mantle, this character-driven story restores faith in the genre.
The After School Detective Club is a group of disparate friends.  Lucy is brave, loyal and athletic, Max is a geeky genius with a wicked sense of humour, Joe is intrepid, funny, and prone to stretching the truth, while Charlie is fearless, fierce and devoted to her dog, Sherlock.  Their lives are sent spinning when they spot a suspicious character brandishing a lantern on Southwold Beach. Before they know it, the group are embroiled in a perilous smuggling plot. What’s more, they are in trouble with the police and the evil harbourmaster.
The snappy dialogue between the friends helps to keep the story hurtling along. The sense of place conjured up provides a real setting for the plot.  Incidentally, the plot twists and turns to great effect and the villains are satisfyingly villainous.  The home lives of the children also provide a convincing and contemporary backdrop to the story.
Bookwagon is proud to stock a huge collection of traditional detective/mystery tales.  Readers will be keen to investigate The Guggenheim Mystery and The Children of Castle Rock. Then again, it seems the After School Detective Club have other adventures ahead…


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