"THE CURSE OF THE CROCODILE KING" (Book 2 in the "Artefact Inspector" series, published in UK by Tamarind Books) '"A tall woman with an eye patch came striding in. She wore a headwrap and dress in sizzling colours: hot pink, flaming orange, scorching yellow. She lit up the bakery like a firework display. "Hello Frankie," she said. "Mizz Z!" gasped Frankie. "You've come back from Africa!" Yes, Miss Zauyamakanda (otherwise known as Mizz Z), Chief Inspector and part-time football coach, is back in town! In China Town to be specific, in a city in England. (Here's the gateway to Chinatown with the city football stadium in the background.)
Mizz Z has come to the Money Tree Bakery owned by Frankie's Auntie Tang, where Frankie is working to earn extra pocket money, selling cakes like these. Look out, in the book, for the pineapple bun!
In Book One, "Zilombo" published in UK by Tamarind Books (American Edition published by Lee and Low as "Monster in the Mudball") Mizz Z, Chief Inspector of Ancient Artefacts, along with Jin and his big sister Frankie, battled an ancient shape-shifting monster. Now Mizz Z is back, facing an even more formidable foe, the dreadful Avenger, once the most deadly weapon of a tyrant called the Crocodile King. And, this time, it's personal!
ONCE CURSED, YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD!
"No one the Crocodile King cursed EVER escaped Avenger," Mizz Z told Frankie. "You could run to the ends of the Earth, hide in the deepest caves, or on the highest mountains but Avenger never, ever gave up. It ALWAYS tracked you down. And it showed no mercy. It couldn't. Because it's just a machine with no feelings."
"It's a heap of junk!" said Jin.
"You're joking us!" scoffed Frankie.
"I do not joke," said Mizz Z, "about things like that. But it is perfectly harmless," insisted Mizz Z, "because it has lost its powers completely. Only the Crocodile King can activate it. And the Crocodile King has been dead for centuries. So it cannot happen."
But, for once, Mizz Z is WRONG! She and all her family are cursed by the Crocodile King who orders Avenger to hunt them down. Mizz Z finds herself tracked through the night-time city streets by the terrible Avenger. Somehow, Jin and Frankie must break the Crocodile King's curse, or the Chief Inspector herself will be Avenger's first victim.
Followed by her little brother Kapito (top computer game designer) who, with terrible timing, is flying into England from his home in America next morning!
Also in this story are:
An ancient and very temperamental bun steaming stove called The Iron Dragon, that drives Auntie Tang crazy.
Jin's Dad,a tough rodent control technician (or rat killer), who is a legend in his own life time.
A Giant African Pouched Rat( who can sniff out land mines) and is a hero back in Africa.
A truly terrifying ghost dog called Darkness.
And, I almost forgot, a public toilet in a baobab tree!
To find out how they all fit in, read "The Curse of the Crocodile King"!
My latest book, ICARUS, is a retelling of a legend from Ancient Greece.
Published by Oxford University Press
Illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton Click here to order on Amazon
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