The Murderer’s Ape


Chief gifts Sally Jones a broken typewriter. Once repaired, the typewriter becomes the method by which Sally describes her courageous story to clear Chief’s name. Sally Jones, ship’s engineer, flight mechanic, button sorter, accordion maker, spy and chess maestra, is a gorilla. She hears and understands, writes and reads. She is also the only witness on the night that Alphonse Morro goes missing, presumed drowned. Chief, Sally’s friend and companion, is framed for his murder.

Sally is left in a dangerous position. A lone gorilla in Lisbon? Who can she turn to? Who might she trust? From the Lisbon fado concert halls, within the ships’s engine room, to a Maharah’s palace, she fights against treachery and lies for Chief’s cause. Sally is determined discover who and why he has been set up.

The Murderer’s Ape is unlike any other story that I’ve read. It is a true classic. The adventure is rich and magical, the geography of Sally’s experiences unpicked like a National Geographic landscape. We can smell the musical instrument oil, the engine rooms, the slick of the Maharah’s bathhouse. The Murderer’s Ape is a book I shall be urging every reader toward!

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The Murderer’s Ape

Jakob Wegelius, translated from the Swedish by Peter Graves

(Pushkin Children’s Books)

Sally Jones, The Murderer’s Ape, considers that if she and the Chief had taken the tram to the police station, things may have turned out differently. However, when Alphonse Morro offers them a job with an overly generous payment, Sally and Chief are excited, yet skeptical.
Thereafter, Sally details that night, and the story of how she and Chief met and worked and lived. She explains what happens once Chief is framed for murder. It seems that Sally is the only witness to the whole fiasco. Therefore she holds the key to the truth. Yet Sally Jones, ship’s engineer, accordion maker, flight mechanic, chess maestra is a gorilla.
Her earlier story is documented in The Legend of Sally Jones. Bookwagon urges every reader to dive into Sally’s tale, the story of how she connected with Chef and thereafter his betrayal. You will be captivated, concerned and convinced by The Murderer’s Ape. We suggest that Jakob Wegelius is a magician. It seems as though we are captive to this story that takes us into a deep history of long ago, through troubled back streets, tumbling dens and vice. Then again, we are completely absurd by Sally Jones’ story and long for her to be believed, exonerated and thereafter returned to Chief. Altogether this is a magnificent story that we recommend to all readers.

August Prize for Best Children’s Book and the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize; Mildred L.Batchelder Award



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