Detective’s Handbook

Detective's Handbook

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Illustrator Michael Foreman
Author Roald Dahl
Year 1988 (first published 1964)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031824-0

“Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you!”

The Golden Ticket allows Charlie to fulfil his dearest wish, to have a specially conducted tour of the mysterious chocolate factory, and who wouldn’t want to wander in a place which made Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight or Cavity-filling Caramels or Strawberry-Juice Water Pistols or Lickable Wallpaper for nurseries? But there are dangers in store as well, especially for such unlovable characters as Veruca Salt, who disappears down the Great Rubbish Chute, or Augustus Gloop who is swept away in a river of hot melted chocolate, or Violet Beauregarde who … but it’s all here in this famous story, waiting ‘to entrance, delight, intrigue, astonish and perplex you beyond measure’ just as it has delighted and astonished more than two million paperback readers already.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory available on Amazon

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (full size)

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

Illustrator Robert Henneberger
Author Eleanor Cameron
Year 1966 (first published 1954)
Publisher Scholastic
ISBN unknown

Chuck and David gasped. There, in the telescope, a tiny greenish dot appeared, shining through the vast black of outer space.

The mysterious little man spoke:
“I should like you two boys to set off this very night for the Mushroom Planet!”
“Tonight?” repeated Chuck faintly.
“But, how…” David began.

How, indeed, could they ever hope to reach that pale and ghostly moon. No other earth dwellers ever knew it existed!

Continue reading for the interior artwork gallery! Continue reading

The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic

Series Discworld
Illustrator
Josh Kirby
Author Terry Pratchett
Year 1985 (first published 1983)
Publisher Corgi
ISBN 978-0-552-12475-1

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

‘ONE OF THE BEST, AND ONE OF THE FUNNIEST ENGLISH AUTHORS ALIVE.’ Independent

The Colour of Magic available on Amazon

The Colour of Magic (full size)

Crimson Crystal Adventure 1: Riddle of the Griffon

Riddle of the Griffon

Series Crimson Crystal Adventures (Endless Quest)
Illustrator Keith Parkinson (cover), Mario D. Macari, Gary Williams
Author Susan Lawson
Year 1985
Publisher TSR
ISBN 394-73979-5 / 0-88038-210-4

From the Producers of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Game
PICK A PATH TO ADVENTURE™
RIDDLE OF THE GRIFFON

Forbidden to use your conjuring abilities, you now have the opportunity to rid your homeland of its oppressive ruler, Parthon. But to do so, you must leave the security of your father’s farm to face the gauntlet of the griffon and solve its riddle. Do you have the courage to pass this ultimate test of your new powers?

To help you on your quest, an old magic-user has given you a magical ruby, one of three powerful magic crystals. This special gem allows you to translate ancient messages, find hidden doorways, see through magical deception, and much more. It can show you many things, but take care or you might not see the truth that the stone reveals to you and find yourself in very real danger! Continue reading

The Three Investigators: The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot

The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot

Series Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators
Illustrator
unknown
Author Robert Arthur
Year 1971 (first published 1967)
Publisher Armada
ISBN unknown

???
THE THREE INVESTIGATORS
“We Investigate Anything”
Jupiter Jones
Peter Crenshaw
Bob Andrews

When Mr. Silver dies he leaves a real ‘skull-buster’ for the Three Investigators to puzzle out. A valuable masterpiece must be found and the only clues the boys have to work with are seven parrots—who just won’t talk! And Huganay, the international art thief, is hot on the same trail! Continue reading

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Illustrator Sidney Paget, Michael Coote (colour)
Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Year 1993 (first published 1921-1927)
Publisher Wordsworth
ISBN 1-85326-070-3

This volume completes the canon of the illustrated Sherlock Holmes stories reprinted from The Strand Magazine. It contains the short story series Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, a sinister novella which appeared in 1914-1915, His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes and the last twelve stories The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes available on Amazon

The Swords of Corum

Swords of Corum

Illustrator Mark Salwowski
Author Michael Moorcock
Year circa 1970’s
Publisher Book Club Associates
Catalog CN 6926

The gods themselves feel fear. It is the time of the conjunction of the Million Spheres–and all things are possible. Beneath the bloody banners of the Dog and the Bear, the cruel Mabden are sweeping the Earth. The mystic Vadhagh are wiped out–all but one. Armed with the Hand of Kwll and his own thirsty sword, Prince Corum Jhaelen pursues his fate and his vengeance through all the fifteen planes of Earth, even to the very centre of Time–the still blue city of Tanelorn. Continue reading

Get Me to the Wake on Time

Get Me to the Wake on Time

Illustrator unknown
Author various
Introduction Alfred Hitchcock
Year 1974
Publisher Mayflower
ISBN 583-12263-9

THIS BOOK
WILL JUST
KILL YOU!

Alfred Hitchcock is a kindly man. It grieves him to think that a certain group of citizens don’t get the public attention their deeds merit. True, they prefer it that way… in fact the last thing they want is publicity. But Alfie knows best, and he’s devoted a long time to making known the special talents of these modest murderers.

Together with some friends Alfred Hitchcock has collected fourteen spine-tingling, knee-knocking, finger-biting stories to keep you in suspense. Continue reading

The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Illustrator C. E. Brock
Author E. Nesbit
Year 1960 (first published 1906)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Though published more than fifty years ago, the story of The Railway Children has become a favourite with children of today as a B.B.C. Children’s Television serial.

There were three of the ‘Railway Children’, Bobbie, Peter, and Phyllis, and life went along as happily as anyone could wish until Peter’s tenth birthday. Then an awful thing happened. Some men came and took away their father. They left London after that and went to live in a not-very-nice house in the country. With Father away, and Mother brave but plainly worried, and very little money, they all did their best, but it was undoubtedly a piece of luck to find that a railway line ran by, just down the hill from their garden. There were always things to do beside a railway in those days, and all sorts of people travelled by train. The Railway Children soon made friends with some of them, and with the station-master and the porter; and then one day Bobbie discovered what had happened to their father, and, keeping it a secret from the others, thought of a way to help him. And that’s what makes the story so exciting – that, and the fact that it all feels so truly possible that anyone can get right inside that awful situation and feel what it would really be like to have to live it. Continue reading

Games Killers Play

Games Killers Play

Illustrator unknown
Author various
Introduction Alfred Hitchcock
Year 1974 (first published 1967)
Publisher Mayflower
ISBN 583-12262-0

MURDER
IS
NASTY…

Nice people don’t do it. Of course not. That’s why the world is so safe. That’s why we all live to a ripe old age. So keep smiling and above all don’t get nervous.

Because that master of murderous mayhem, Alfred Hitchcock, is about to introduce you to as convincing a crew of keen killers and mangled victims as you’d never care to meet. Continue reading

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth

Illustrator Linda Garland
Author Robert Foster
Year 1988 (first published 1978)
Publisher George Allen & Unwin
ISBN 0-04-803001-5

J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy works, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion have delighted millions of readers in recent years.

Middle-earth, the world in which the stories take place, is as real and complex as our own. Events, geography and names were created with care and loving attention by Tolkien, who wanted every single detail of his books to fit into their total pattern. A belief in perfection, the fun of the sub-creation and the desire to create something so totally convincing that the reader could believe in it (in a sense) as actual history, involved him in map-making, endless charts of dates and events and the development of his many invented languages. Continue reading

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Illustrator Jules Feiffer
Author Norton Juster
Year 1975 (first published 1961)
Publisher Lions
ISBN 0-00-6707998

“It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,” Milo remarks as he walks dejectedly home from school. But his glumness soon turns to surprise when he unwraps a mysterious package marked ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH. Once through the Phantom Tollbooth Milo has no more time to be bored for before him lies the strange land of the Kingdom of Wisdom and a series of even stranger adventures when he meets the watchdog Tock who ticks, King Azaz the Unabridged the unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis, Faintly Macabre the not so wicked Which, the Whether Man and the threadbare Excuse among a collection of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality.

‘This marvellous story about a spoilt boy’s somewhat Alice like journey into the world of words and numbers must be one of the most brilliant pieces of nonsense written in our time, and not so nonsensical either.’
Naomi Lewis, BBC World of Books

The Phantom Tollbooth available on Amazon

The Phantom Tollbooth (full size)

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – August 1989

Analog Science Fiction and Fact – August 1989

Illustrator Kelly Freas (cover)
Editor Stanley Schmidt
Year 1989
Publisher Davis

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Official
Analog Science Fiction and Fact Wikipedia

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Borrobil

Borrobil

Illustrator Pauline Baynes (cover), John Morton-Sale
Author William Croft Dickinson
Year 1973 (first published 1944)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Check out the entire post for a full front and back cover spread!

On Beltane Eve Donald and Jean decide to visit the dark mysterious wood on top of the hill. And in the wood they meet Borrobil. As Borrobil explained to them, Beltane is one of the most magic nights of the year, when the White King of Summer must defeat the Black King of Winter. But Borrobil also describes himself as the best good magician who ever lived in these parts since the rule of King Diarmid. What better guide could Donald and Jean have to take them to see Morac defeat the poison-breathing Dragon and thence to the north to fetch Princess Finella to be Morac’s bride? But the Black Sulig has first to be overcome and when they eventually reach Finella’s castle more dangers threaten from the men of the Long Ships. Continue reading

Winter’s Heart

Winter's Heart

Series Wheel of Time Book Nine
Illustrator Darrell K. Sweet
Author Robert Jordan
Year 2000
Publisher Orbit
ISBN 1-85723-985-7

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and go.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time has become an international No. 1 bestseller and one of the most popular fantasy epics of all time. Now, the Wheel of Time turns again, and the remarkable tale that is mesmerising an entire generation of readers continues. Rand is on the run with Min, but his destination is a mystery to Cadsuane.

Mazrim Taim, leader of the Black Tower, is revealed to be a liar, but his purpose remains shrouded in secrecy. Continue reading

Return of The Shadow

Return of The Shadow

Illustrator unknown
Author Walter B. Gibson
Year 1966 (first published 1963)
Publisher Brown Watson
ISBN unknown

“THE SHADOW KNOWS . . .”

“Your life,” probed the hypnotic voice from the shadows, “is no longer your own. It belongs to me now. I shall improve it. I shall make it useful. But I shall risk it, too. Perhaps I shall lose it, for I have lost lives, just as I have saved them.

“This is my code: life, with enjoyment, with danger, with excitement. Life, above all, with honour. And in return, I demand obedience. Absolute obedience.”

“I promise,” whispered The Shadow’s new agent. “I swear absolute obedience…”

THE SHADOW – a strange creature clad in black with strange powers over men’s minds and a mocking laugh which is the avenger’s chilling note of triumph.

Return of The Shadow available on Amazon

More Great Adventure Stories

More Great Adventure Stories

Illustrator unknown
Author unknown
Year 1978
Publisher Dean & Son
ISBN unknown

Turtle Island, The Chinese Pirates, Sitting Bull, The Covered Wagons, Magellan and Elcano, The Conquest of the Poles, Robin Hood, The Crusades, Medieval Tournaments, The Flying Dutchman and The Abominable Snowman

More Great Adventure Stories available on Amazon

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes

Illustrator Christina Griffiths (cover design)
Author June Thomson
Year 2012
Publisher Allison & Busby
ISBN 978-0-7490-1136-9

A mysterious veiled lady carries a counterfeit painting into an art dealer’s office.
A widow with three hands slips out of a church door.
A farmer lies dead in a barn, his son accused of his murder.
A skeleton with a silver locket is unearthed in a back garden.
What do they have in common?
The famous resident of 221b Baker Street.

From the gas-lit clamour of London’s streets, to the isolated Welsh countryside, the great detective Sherlock Holmes, accompanied as always by his faithful friend and biographer Dr Watson, must solve cases as complex as any he has known before, some of which bring him face to face with old enemies from the past, figures left behind in the mists of the Reichenbach Falls…

A brand new cache of original cases from the brilliant imagination of June Thomson displays the master of the art of deduction at his intriguing best and proves that the game is still very much afoot.

The Secret Archives of Sherlock Holmes available on Amazon

Thanks to the local library for the cover!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Author C. S. Lewis
Year 1973 (first published 1950)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-030132-1

This is a story of magic adventure, and very powerful magic it was, in which four ordinary children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, became involved. It started in a strange house where they were staying, and Lucy found she could go through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy land of pine forests where she found a faun. Edmund got through to it too, but he did not find the friendly faun. Instead he ran straight into the White Witch herself, a terrifying person, but she gave him what he wanted more than anything else at the moment – Turkish Delight. Then he told her of Lucy’s adventures with the faun, and about the other brother and sister who had not yet found the way through the wardrobe. Two boys, two girls! That was what the old legend told her that she needed to hold her spell over the land of Narnia, so she made Edmund promise to bring the other three to her. That was how it started, with the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Lion was not long in making an appearance. He was the great Aslan, Lord of the Wood.

This is the first of a series of stories about Aslan and Narnia. The final one of them (The Last Battle) won the Carnegie Medal as the best book for children published in 1956. It appeals especially to nine- to twelve-year-olds but some will read it earlier, and many will still enjoy it a good deal later.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe available on Amazon