Wednesday 12 January 2022

Mortlock - Jon Mayhew - Mortlock Book 1

Mortlock Book 1
Bloomsbury Children's Books
ISBN 9781408803936
eISBN 9781408810729
ASIN B0049U412K

This is the 25th volume I have read by Jon Mayhew in the last three years. I love his adult crime books under the name J.E. Mayhew, and greatly enjoyed his paranormal series under the pen name Edwin Torr. And now circling back and reading his Young Adult and Middle Grade works under this name. I have a read Mr Grimhurst's Treasure: And other Ghost Stories, which is a collection of stories set in this same world and was enthralled by it. This story did not disappoint. It was a little different than I expected but it is a spectacular story. I should note the eBook is only available in the UK, and the physical book is available there and in North America. And I can state for fans of the supernatural, scary, or macabre will definitely enjoy this story. The description of the book is:

“The sister is a knife thrower in a magician's stage act, the brother is an undertaker's assistant. Neither orphan knows of the other's existence. Until, that is, three terrible Aunts descend on the girl's house and imprison her guardian, the Great Cardamom. His dying act is to pass the girl a note with clues to the secret he has carried to his grave. Cardamom was one of three explorers on an expedition to locate the legendary Amarant, a plant with power over life and death. Now, pursued by flesh-eating crow-like ghouls, brother and sister must decode the message and save themselves from its sinister legacy.”

A young woman witnesses as her protector and guardian is attacked by three ‘Aunties’. But these are not normal spinsters, they can change shape and transform into giant dark birds. She is trapped in the house with them. When she finally escapes she makes her way to the theatre where she performed and seeks help in with her protector’s friend. There is a mad race around London, interference from a flock of birds, capture and held captive at a strange manor, a night circus and more. 

The story is an interesting mix of elements. A mystery, wrapped up in an adventure, and full of secrets and surprises. It was a hard book to put down. The characters on masterfully written and you will find yourself cheering the youngsters on. It is a gothic fiction story for younger reads at its best. It is a fantastic story and I looking forward to reading the other two in the trilogy. Yet another great read from Mayhew, no matter which pen name he is using.

Books as J.E. Mayhew:
DCI William Blake Series:

Books as Jon Mayhew:
The Spybrarian

Monster Odyssey Series:
1.0 The Eye of Neptune
2.0 The Wrath of the Lizard Lord
3.0 The Curse of the Ice Serpent
4.0 The Venom of the Scorpion

Mortlock Series:
2.0 The Demon Collector
3.0 The Bonehill Curse

Collins Big Cat Series:
The Merchant of Venice: Band 16/Sapphire
Hamlet: Band 18/Pearl
Romeo and Juliet: Band 18/Pearl
Macbeth: Band 18/Pearl

Contributed to:
Beyond the Book: A Collection of Short Stories
Storycraft: How To Teach Creative Writing
Criminal Shorts: UK Crime Book Club Anthology
Make Doves Not War - Forward

Books as Edwin Torr:
Dead Means Dead Series
1.0 Demons - 2017
1.3 Cotton Candy - 2017
1.9 Remurdered - 2017
2.0 Angel Hunter - 2017
2.5 Cold Caller - 2017
3.0 Jigsaw Girl - 2018

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