Twelve mysteries. Twelve authors. One challenge: can YOU solve the crimes before the heroes of the stories? These are twelve brand-new short stories from twelve of the best children's crime writers writing today. These creepy, hilarious, brain-boggling, heart-pounding mysteries feature daring, brilliant young detectives, and this anthology is a must for fans of crime fiction and detection, especially the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, The Roman Mysteries and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. The Crime Club are twelve UK-based authors who are mad about crime fiction. Clementine Beauvais, Elen Caldecott, Susie Day, Julia Golding, Frances Hardinge, Caroline Lawrence, Helen Moss, Sally Nicholls, Kate Pankhurst, Robin Stevens, Harriet Whitehorn and Katherine Woodfine can be found anywhere there is a mystery to be solved, a puzzle to be cracked or a bun to be eaten, and they are always ready for the next puzzling case.
ELEN CALDECOTT - Books that inspired me as a child
I learned to read early, being a competent decoder at four-ish. But I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the rush of diving headlong into the world of a book and swimming in its pages breathlessly. For me, words were information, they weren’t passion.
Until. Just the right book was placed in my hands and everything changed. That book was Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. I don’t know who gave it to me, or why they thought this would be the book for me, but I am so grateful to whoever it was. I was sucked into the story. The words on the page, the shapes of the letters, just disappeared and I was there. Right in the story. It felt like it was actually happening to me. And I realised, it wasn’t just this book that could weave tht spell – it was any book! Suddenly, I wasn’t just a Welsh seven year old, playing mud pies and throwing sticks for my dog. I was ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING I WANTED TO BE…as long as I could find a story about it.
Why did James and the Giant Peach have this cataclysmic effect? I think it was the combination of the ordinary and the grotesque blended so seamlessly. It was frightening, and exciting. As though the world was suddenly not as stable as it had seemed just a few hours earlier. Children like me might find magic, might talk to insects, might fly with seagulls.
It was the combination of ordinary and fantastic that was to stay with me. As a reader, I loved stories that bridged this divide. This meant more Dahl, of course. I raced through Matilda and The Witches. But also other writers like Enid Blyton’s adventure books, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Borrowers. Anything, basically, that gave me the feeling that I might open a door in my house and find Edwardian characters on the other side. Or I might crouch to pick up a dropped sock and see a surprised tiny human looking back at me.
Books made the real world seem full of potential. And what an amazing gift that is to give to any child.