I wrote this book as an act of revenge against Peter Pan, a twee and sentimental book that stresses the most glutinous parts of the British character. Little Darlings is the story of some children who have been ignored by their parents and brought up by grim, vicious nannies. When the children run away with the burglars who have come to pinch the family silver, they find that compared to themselves, burglars are kind, naive and sweet-natured. The children resolve to put this right. In the process, they make some very surprising discoveries.
‘Every now and then, a children’s book comes along that is completely different. Little Darlings is one of these’
The Sunday Times Book of the Week review.
Bad, bad Darlings
At the end of Little Darlings, the Darling children and their long-lost Mum had taken command of the liner SS Kleptomanic and its crew of highly-trained burglars. Now they have arrived in the American city of Neverglade, where the sun is hot, the coconuts grow all year round, and the rich people are sooooooo rich they are just asking to be burgled. Things are going really well until Papa Darling, tiring of his healthy but unpleasant job cleaning the Lower Deck Lavs, escapes and tries to make a deal with the terrifyingly ghastly Gomez Elegante. And his even more ghastly and terrifying son Gomez Junior….
The Darlings are on the move again. The mighty liner SS Kleptomanic has been wrecked. Luckily, the clever burglars have managed to nick an absolutely enormous and absolutely charming yacht, which they have called the Kleptomanic II (obviously). But strange forces are at work, calling them to the absolutely disgusting country of Nananagua, once a democracy, now a Nanny State. Who is it that is calling Chief Engineer Crown Prince Beowulf of Iceland to a date with Destiny? And why? And does anyone care? The Darlings must find out. And as they find out, you can bet that there will be plenty of trouble. Ooooooooooooooh yes. Or as they say in Nananagua, Si….
The Return of Death Eric
All right, all right. I used to be in a band, playing very loud music in very low cellars. So of course I had to write a rock and roll story. And the only kinds of rock and roll story worth telling are the rags-to-riches biopic (been done) and the Comeback (also been done, but hey, it’s a great tune, why not play it again?) So welcome to the world of guitar hero Eric Thrashmettle, dozens of roadies, a band that doesn’t want to play any more, a rock and roll wife who thinks she’s a guru, and the Thrashmettle kids, who wish their dad would stop going on about having been cursed by a raven and get on with it….
The Haunting of Death Eric
This story is a feedback metal remix of the Canterville Ghost, if that means anything. If it doesn’t, try this:
All guitar heroes need a castle for when the tabloids get on their case. Eric Thrashmettle has found one and bought it. Unfortunately it seems to come with a rather bad-tempered ghost. And not only a ghost, but quite a lot of Honganian vampires, and (worse) skveezebox players, who are trying to eat their Heavy Pies and play their terrible music in the middle of his lovely Feedback Metal concerts. The Thrashmettle children, bright and cunning as ever, must make friends with the ghost to get rid of the vampires. Sounds easy, right? Well, it isn’t…..