Random House Editor Reviews
FLINTSTAFF AND CRAMP: The Curious Case of the Case by Duncan Howard
Congratulations on being selected for a longer critique – I very much enjoyed your sample chapters and hope the following comments are of use.
Your opening scene is great and really transports the reader into the action from the off. The ‘breathless hush’ being completely shattered by the crashing arrival of Major Henry Flintstaff-Membrayne and Sergeant Arthur Cramp (both are inspired names!) heralds a lively, fast-moving, high-energy narrative, with plenty of sharp, witty dialogue which put me in mind of Steven Moffatt’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Cramp being described as diving forth ‘with all the courage and devotion of a Yorkshire terrier’ made me laugh out loud!
The introduction to Charlie (and Tom and Shini) in the modern world is handled no less confidently and humorously – very convincing, sparring dialogue between the two boys and poor old Charlie’s tongue-tied reaction to beautiful, sardonic Shini is really funny and painfully realistic!
Your dialogue is fantastic and really sparkles off the page.
Time-travelling mystery solving and the war between good and evil are certainly well-trod themes in children’s literature – but you have a fresh, funny voice that really leaps off the page and I found very engaging. I wish you all the best with your writing!
Lauren, Editor, Random House
Wow, I really enjoyed reading this.
Great characters, quirky, engaging and highly imaginative.
Fast pace and engaging.
I loved both worlds, immediately sucked in.
Great comedy moments. Fantastic dialogue, clear character voices.
By KTVPS (Youwriteon.com).
Love this to bits; it is inventive, adventurous boys'-own-comic stuff, and absolutely hilarious to boot. I love the language that you have used too, it fits the subject to a tee. Too many to mention but "whistling a ditty while he whittled" stands out for me.
The two main characters are splendid stereotypes and I love 'em for that; it means we know what to expect from the opening rip-roaring paragraphs. I love the inventions, with names like cat-ovault, which meant I didn't care one single jot about the practicalities of steam-driven hand weapons; these are minor details for a crackpot inventor to overcome in a fantasy adventure, involving mythical creatures.
I liked the contrast, too, between the Victorian hero and his side-kick, with Charlie and his best friend (also a Cramp), 150 years on.
I certainly want to read more of the same. So well done, I think you deserve to have a winner here.
Tony Spencer (Youwriteon).
Let me start by I really loved the book! Seriously… I read a lot of fantasy / fiction and TBH I think this is a teen / adult crossover. Fantastic read. Very professional. As good as the books I already read / that I buy.
The story is constructed well; starts with a good background on F&C, build up with the kids getting into things and hits a good speed towards the end … when it is hard to put down.
I thought you struck a good balance between your level of descriptors versus narrative.
I appreciated the humour and did LOL a lot of times.
REVIEWS OF FLINTSTAFF AND CRAMP.