Books

PARADISE BARN

Paradise Barn Book Cover

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It’s September 1940, the darkest period of the War. The Blitz of London and other cities has just started, and evacuees are being rushed out into the countryside where they will be safer.

All through that summer a German invasion is expected and feared.

In the midst of all this killing, ordinary peacetime crimes continue to happen. PARADISE BARN tells the story of three friends who find themselves caught up in a murder mystery. Molly and Abigail have always lived in Great Deeping, a small town in the country. Adam is an evacuee from London. Together they set about solving the crime – only to find that it is more complicated than they had expected.

Who can be trusted?

THE DEEPING SECRETS

The Deeping Secrets Cover

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This is the second story in the series. It is set a few months later, in the early summer of 1941.

It is a story about enemy spies and sabotage. There is a plan to blow up an entire freight train loaded with explosives when it is travelling through Great Deeping.

Molly, Abigail and Adam (and two new friends) stumble upon this plan. Can they prevent the explosion? Can they save the town from annihilation?

Will they escape alive?

HIDDEN LIES

Hidden Lies Cover

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In the spring and early summer of 1944 the whole country is expecting an attempt to land allied armies in enemy-occupied France. Unless this happens there will be no chance of defeating Germany. No-one is meant to know when or where the landings will take place.

But someone does know. He is Cassie’s Uncle Peter, who seems to know everything about the invasion. But when he dies in mysterious circumstances, what will Cassie do, left on her own?

She quickly finds that she is being hunted by mysterious and menacing people.

Luckily, she discovers new friends – Molly, Abigail and Adam, and a younger boy called Edward. The five of them set out to find out what has happened to Uncle Peter.

The story concludes with D-Day, which changes everything for Cassie and Edward.

EVERYONE A STRANGER

Everyone a Stranger

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EVERYONE A STRANGER won the EAST ANGLIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2014).

The story takes place in 1945 as allied armies are closing on Berlin. Although the War is coming to an end, London and the south-east are suffering a renewed blitz of V1 ‘doodlebugs’ and V2 rockets. When peace does finally arrive, Molly and Abigail must learn to live with strangers in their homes – their fathers, returned from the fighting, and Abigail’s annoying cousin Ivy from London. It is a strange and difficult period in their lives. Neither of them is prepared for an event that will turn their friend Adam into a different person. In an uncertain post-War world, they must all make decisions about their future.

OPERATION BLACKOUT

Book cover for Operation Blackout

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This is the fifth war-time story and – like the others – it is set in the country town of Great Deeping. Strictly speaking, it is not one of the Paradise Barn series because the barn doesn’t come into the story. But Abigail Murfitt and Hilda Pritt are very involved.

The story begins a few weeks before Christmas 1940, when the London blitz is at its worst. A ten-year-old girl is dragged naked from the rubble. After a few weeks in which she is homeless, hungry, and cold, she finds her way with other evacuees onto a train that passes through Great Deeping.

Meanwhile a German boy related to Adolf Hitler is being prepared at a Nazi training school to be parachuted into England – near Great Deeping. The English girl and the German boy find themselves caught up in a deadly war-time mystery. The situation requires all their courage and cleverness, as well as the help of Hilda, Abigail, and a strange woman with a three-legged cat.

This is a stand-alone story, but – for readers who like to read books in the right order – it comes after Paradise Barn and immediately before The Deeping Secrets.

WANT TO READ?

Click on any of the book titles to be taken to their Amazon pages, where you can purchase a copy online.

If you’re looking for more to read, my publishers, Catnip Publishing, have a wide variety of books for children of all ages.