The Malamander by Thomas Taylor


First and foremost The Malamander (great title) by Thomas Taylor is a really enjoyable read. I was steeped in the briny world of Eerie on Sea from the very first page.

In Eerie on Sea, mythical beasts walk the misty shores and legends of strange disappearances are part of the furniture. Nobody is what they seem.

The author Thomas Taylor gained notoriety for his covers, the first covers, of the Harry Potter books, but (rather annoyingly) it transpires that he writes as well as he draws. In this, his debut middle grade novel, he introduces us to a wonderful pair of detectives - Herbie and Violet – who have a riddle to solve, and an evocative location. Eerie on Sea is a seaside town and the unsettling mystery of the Malamander takes place in the wintry off-season when there are no tourists to fill the place.

The Malamander is fantastical storytelling at its best, with a Dickensian cast and a terrifying beast from the deep. This enthralling oceanic adventure had me hoping our heroic lost and foundlings will have more mysteries to solve in books to come.

I wanted to read on and on.