Back in October 2009 I started writing this blog, with the intention of raising awareness of the wealth of boy-friendly books that are on the market. At the time I started off by reviewing some of my favourites, both past and present, never thinking for one moment that within a few months I would be receiving books directly from publishers.
The fifth book I reviewed was Justin Thyme by Panama Oxrdige. At the time it was out of print, having been self-published some years earlier, but a sudden change in the book's website filled me with hope that it may soon be re-released so that more people could have the pleasure of reading it. I am delighted to say that my wish has now come true and fledgling publisher Inside Pocket are about to release it. Justin Thyme has an official release date of 4th October according to Amazon, but said online outlet already has copies available.
How's this for a cracking synopsis?
Justin Thyme is a self-made billionaire living in a castle overlooking Loch Ness. The day he turns thirteen, he receives an anonymous gift: a fabulous watch with a puzzling message hidden on it. When he tells his father of his plans to build a time machine, the Laird of Thyme reveals tantalising fragments of past espionage and warns his son of a ruthless enemy keeping him under constant surveillance. At first, Justin fails to take Sir Willoughby seriously, but when a stranger arrives claiming to be his long-lost grandfather, Justin is wary - especially after his beloved Nanny insists the old man is an impostor.
Justin's TV celebrity mother departs on a Congo expedition with her eccentric film crew and Eliza, a computer-literate gorilla. Whilst returning, Lady Henny is abducted, and clues prove that the kidnapper has inside information; someone in Thyme Castle must be a spy - or possibly Sir Willoughby's old enemy in disguise. Everyone is under suspicion: Justin's nervy tutor; their snooping housekeeper; the theatrical gardener; an ex-royal butler; and Mrs Kof, their freakishly strong cook.
Suddenly, the race against time is on. Can Justin convert his vintage motorbike into a time machine, rescue his mum and discover the identity of their resident spy in less than a week...or will the dreaded Thyme Curse claim another life?
This really is a must-buy book. If you want to see my original review you can read it here. Please be gentle though as this was in the early days of the blog and I like to think I have grown as a reviewer since those early days lol.
You will also see in my original review that I have been patiently awaiting the sequel to Justin Thyme. A few months ago I received an email from Panama Oxridge, who had discovered The Book Zone whilst googling for a review of a book that Panama was interested in reading. In this email I was reliably informed that the sequel would be on its way once the first book in the series had been published, and now Panama's great Justin Thyme website is stating that it should be available in Autumn 2011. Great news! I've waited this long - what's one more year? Panama has also launched a couple of blogs that are well worth a visit: The Tartan of Thyme Blog where you can find out about the book's official launch, and the rather more whimsical Eliza's Banana Blog.
All I can say is good luck Panama and Inside Pocket - a full print run of this book has been too long overdue and it is great to see it finally available to the masses.