By Julian Leatherdale
Internal illustrations by David Allan.
Cover design by Authors’ Elves
About the book:
London, Christmas Eve, 1911: the world is changing fast: giant warships, aeroplanes with bombs, spies and assassins, fear of war with Germany. And the cosy lives of teenagers Lily and Leo Keeler, who long for adventure, are about to be torn apart by secrets, espionage and monstrous creatures. When a shadow-puppet play unexpectedly releases the hungry spectre of Shadow Wolf, Lily and Leo get more adventure than they ever bargained for, as they battle the threat with their uncle Alfred, a brilliant, notorious Sherlock Holmes- like paranormal detective.
But that proves to be only the first mystery in a conspiracy that threatens the whole Keeler family, as Lily and Leo’s stage magician parents vanish for real in the middle of their latest spectacular magic act. From the Royal Naval dockyards of Plymouth to the bone-stacked catacombs of Paris, Lily and Leo and their uncle must confront eerie creatures and spine-tingling danger as they are chased by a ruthless spy-ring determined to harness the dark forces of Magick as weapons of war…
The Phantasmic Detective Agency is a gripping, original fantasy adventure novel for readers 9+.
With bucketloads of colourful history, all the magic of the theatre and excitement galore, The Phantasmic Detective Agency is a cavalcade of imaginative steampunk delight! (Michael Pryor)
About the author:
Julian Leatherdale was a novelist, scriptwriter and playwright. His theatre work includes four comedy cabarets, two musicals (Alex in Videoland and The Golem of Prague), a monologue for Breaking Bread and the black comedy The Man Who Became Santa. He wrote animation scripts for children’s TV with SquareZero, London and researched and co-wrote two Film Australia-ABC TV history documentaries The Forgotten Force and Return to Sandakan. His adult historical fiction novels are Palace of Tears (A&U, 2015 and Harper Collins Germany, 2016), The Opal Dragonfly (A&U, 2018), and Death in the Ladies’ Goddess Club(A&U, 2020). He lived in the Blue Mountains with his family.
The Phantasmic Detective Agency is his first novel for young readers.
David Allan is an illustrator and artist whose first picture book, Two Trickster Tales from Russia(retold by Sophie Masson) was published by Christmas Press in 2013. Since then, he has illustrated the widely-acclaimed launch title for Eagle Books, Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff, (translated by Stephanie Smee, published 2016) as well as three other picture books for Christmas Press. He has also illustrated short story anthologies, including The Stuff of Tales, published by Arts North West in 2018, and several Christmas Press anthologies, as well as storybooks for reading programs. His work is in private and public collections, and he has participated in solo and group exhibitions. www.davidallanart.com