Welcome to Haarville -- if you've arrived, you've survived. Off the grid and not on the maps, it's a place shrouded in fog and steeped in pungent pongs. Everything here smells fishy, especially the town's suspicious new arrivals.
Twelve-year-old Manx Fearty is an orphan (his family has a terrible habit of dying, terribly), and now he's about to lose their perpetual device shop to sinister newcomers claiming to be long-lost relatives. As he sets out to prove them wrong, Manx finds himself on the trail of a murky, mist-muddled mystery -- and it's one he needs to solve fast, otherwise Haarville is doomed.
With the help of his fiercely protective drag-queen guardian Father G (aka the fabulous Gloria in Excelsis), loyal best friend Fantoosh, and oystercatcher-with-attitude Olu, Manx wades through secrets, schemes and some stomach-churning seafood. Can he save both his family's legacy and his town?
Darkly comic but full of heart, this quirky middle-grade mystery adventure from Justin Davies, award-winning author of Help! I Smell a Monster and Whoa! I Spy a Werewolf (Orchard Books), is perfect for fans of Malamander and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
'A fantastically fishy adventure, packed to the gills with humour and heart. A boat-load of thrills, fun and friendship.'
-- Maria Kuzniar, author of The Ship of Shadows series
'A wonderfully imagined, ridiculously unique story that I raced through in a day. The inhabitants of Haarville and their secrets will hook you in and leave you wanting more. Justin Davies deserves first plaice for crreating a book every child, and adult, will love.'
-- Clare Povey, author of The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre
'Utterly magical and instantly transporting. You'll want to visit Haarville again and again.'
-- Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of These Broken Stars
'The plot is lively with high stakes and misadventure. Intermittent illustrations pair well with the quirky sense of humour. An eccentric and fantastical mystery.'
-- Kirkus Reviews
'The pluckiest of orphans, a long-leather-coat-wearing villainous uncle, stalwart friends and a hint of magic - all set in a dank gloomy town that steals the show. Innovative, characterful writing with a dark humour that entertains from start to finish.'
-- Peters, Books of the Week
'Sure to delight and enrapture kids aged nine and over across the nation.'
-- Dunfermline Press
'A magical story where Manx fights increasingly difficult challenges to uncover the truth and save Haarville.'
-- YA Books Central
'It's a unique and quirky blend of imagination and setting that will set you off on a mesmerising expedition that will have you glued to the pages. This has to be my favourite read so far this year. [ ] This brilliant well-written story transports you to a murky seaside town that is the life and soul of the party. The characters are colourful and heartwarming whilst the villains make it an edgy race to uncover secrets to save the family's legacy and Haarville from sinister newcomers.'
-- Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books