I am very excited to announce that my new novel ‘Another Twist in the Tale’ will be hitting the shelves on November 5th 2020. Remember, remember the 5th of November!
‘Another Twist in the Tale’ is a rip-roaring a sequel to Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ set in Victorian London and featuring Oliver’s long lost twin sister…
You may have heard the tale of Oliver Twist – the boy who asked for more, the reluctant pickpocket, the orphan who became heir to a great fortune. But what few know is that there was a second Twist – a girl, brought into this world moments ahead of her brother.
This is the story of Twill Twist – the orphan baby cast out into the snow and rescued by a young kitchen maid named Baggage Jones. Baggage takes the baby back to the Black Jack Gaming Hell of Camberwell Grove, run by the formidable – and gargantuan – Madame Manzoni and the terrifying Mrs Spanks and her Spoon – where Twill is raised surrounded by card sharks and gamblers and the beautiful butterfly girls, loved by her Baggage, learning that girls have to fight to survive in Queen Victoria’s England, and blissfully unaware that her twin brother is now heir to a great fortune.
Until one day she finds herself suddenly cast adrift, destitute and homeless on the streets of London. It is here she encounters a young man by the name of Mr Jack Dawkins – the Artful Dodger to his friends – who, after nearly getting Twill arrested, introduces her to the Sassy Sisterhood of Saffron Hill, an all-girl band of pickpockets and kickass little lady lawbreakers who take orders from no man, and welcome our brave heroine under their wing.
But something is rotten on the streets of London, Child Snatchers are abroad and children keep disappearing into an austere institution known as the Benevolent Home for Boys run by a mysterious shady figure with a red beard, aided and abetted by the ‘Chief Child Snatcher’ whose large tummy also looks very familiar. No child escapes from the Benevolent and those who go in seem to turn out blue!
When girls start getting snatched too, Twill and Dodger team up to try and solve the mystery – which also seems to involve Oliver’s guardian, a mysterious poisoner called Mrs C and a terrifying shadowy figure known simply as ‘Mother Earth’. It seems the only person who can unravel the tangled web and come to the rescue is Oliver Twist – but Oliver is nowhere to be found. If only there were another Twist in this tale to save the day, along with a band of brave street girls, and a bit of help from the beautiful Butterflies, and Miss Baggage Jones (not forgetting Dodger of course) … after all, anything boys can do, girls can do better, right?
‘Another Twist in the Tale’ is a rip-roaring page-turning adventure story set in Victorian London amongst the workhouses and slums and streetkids and sweatshops, featuring many of Dickens beloved characters, along with a host of weird and wonderful new faces. You can rediscover the Artful Dodger, Fagin and Oliver Twist himself, along with a host of new heroes and villains! I hope it will be the perfect way to introduce young readers to the delights of Dickens, keeping them hooked till the very last page and the final thrilling twist in the tale!