by Richard Newsome
HarperCollins, 2009. 344 pgs. Fiction.
What a scream! In both senses of the word. Gerald Wilkins is looking forward to a ski trip with his friend Ox during their school holiday when he is suddenly snatched from his comfortable Australian surroundings and off to England with his parents for his Great Aunt Geraldine's funeral. Since he had never even met Aunt Geraldine, Gerald is not happy about this. Imagine his surprise when he inherits the bulk of her multibillion dollar fortune, including three estates and a yacht. His parents take off immediately to "tour" Aunt Geraldine's holdings in the Caribbean and Gerald is left alone to ponder a packet of letters also left to him by his aunt in which she tells him she was murdered and that he must find the killer. Luckily Gerald finds some friends--twins Sam and Ruby--to help him as he dodges the murderous Bleach Man, tries to get along with (and annoy) his butler, the frosty Mr. Fry, and find out who stole the Noor Jehan diamond (using the old "fake elephant" ploy) and why they want even more the casket that contained it. Murder, mayhem, and pots of laughs fills this first novel in The Archer Legacy. Hope we don't have too wait long for the next one.