Wednesday 18 July 2018

Barnabas Tew And The Case Of The Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan

AMAZON UK £1.99 £6.99
AMAZON US $2.65 $10.99 
AMAZON CA $2.99 $14.23

Victorian / Egyptology
YA  / Fantasy / Humour

When you've been strangled by a mummified Egyptian God, things cannot get any worse. Can they?

Influenced by the adventures of a certain Mr Holmes, Barnabas Tew has set himself up as a private detective, but with very little success. Even in the handful of cases he has solved, his erstwhile client has succumbed in unfortunate circumstances. Unknown to Barnabas and his slightly more intelligent assistant, Wilfred, one of those (dead) clients has recommended him to Anubis because Anubis has a problem: the dung beetle that pushes the sun across the heavens has been kidnapped. Transported by death to Egypt's afterlife, Barnabas and Wilfred set out to interrogate various gods and minor gods, most of whom sport animal heads of differing varieties. Unfortunately, more accidental deaths occur as a result of their investigations.

To say Barnabas is bumbling is paying him a compliment; he is clueless, full of self-importance and arrogant – but all in a 'nice' way so you can't help but like him. Wilfred is little better but tries valiantly to keep his employer out of even more trouble. Needless to say they triumph but for all the wrong reasons.

It doesn't say anywhere that this book is aimed at Young Adults, but I feel that this is its best audience - yet it is eminently readable by us older folk in the same way as, say, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. There were a few minor typos and perhaps a very small hole in the plot but certainly not a disastrous one. Even a very few modern words or expressions did not seem out of place; this is, after all, a mixture of comedy and fantasy. And we are left with a perfect set up for further adventures with Barnabas Tew.

Entertaining, light- hearted and humorous, excellent for a quick read.

© Richard Tearle

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