Lil Potkin lives in bleak Peligan City. Her mum works in City Hall and is rarely at home, so aspiring journalist Lil has all the time she needs to explore the city in her bright yellow raincoat, investigating unsolved stories.
One rainy evening Lil meets a sad-looking boy sitting by himself in the bus station and buys him a hot chocolate. That night Lil wakes to find him in her bedroom. He doesn't want to admit to being a ghost, but when he finally remembers his name (Nedly ... possibly) he explains that he needs Lil's help to find out what happened to him after he disappeared from his orphanage a year ago.
So Lil and Nedly - aka Potkin and Stubbs - team up to solve their mystery, and they call in the reluctant help of once-famous detective Abe Mandrel. He agrees to help them with the Stubbs case if they help him find the criminal who escaped justice and cost him his career.
Except - Mandrel thinks it's only Lil he's working with. And Lil realises she is the only person in the whole of Peligan City who can see Nedly. Which can come in handy when trying to solve crime...
As we dip our fantasy toes into 2019, there are some fantastic new reads to whet our appetite. Looking into the immediate future, there is an eye-catching new book by Sophie Green called Potkin and Stubbs. This book first grabbed my attention when it was featured in my little book cover wars 2018 competition. It has to be one of my favourites and looks amazing in the flesh; a bundle of green and golden joy. The superb illustrations are from the talented Karl James Mountford which are delightfully in keeping with the story and add some timely atmospheric detail. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, you will have to wait until the beginning of March 2019 to get your eager mitts on a copy. However, good things come to people who wait and this book is not just good ... it's BRILLIANT. So put it on your pre-order list.
Sophie Green's favourite film is Ghost Busters. Bearing this in mind, it is clear that some of the influence has rubbed off and can be seen within this story. The plot is filled with some fantastically spooky shenanigans as you venture through, if you dare, as it will both scare and delight you. The book instantly plunges the reader into an atmospheric dark journey that will capture the imagination and pull the threads of the fantasy soul. It will leave you fully engrossed and turning the pages like a demon possessed.
The detective story starts with the introduction of the fantastic protagonist, twelve-year-old, Lil Potkin. Looking for a story and ready for action, she is armed with a small rucksack, notepad and a nest of chewed pencils. Something soon captures her attention through a missing toy advert and a mystery sad looking boy. She decides to investigate, but what could possibly go wrong?
Catapulted into a dark world of corruption and deceit, the storyline makes an amazing read. The author has come up with some cracking ideas blending it with a creative and unusual concept. It has all the ingredients I love: drama, tension, mystery and a very disturbing eerie quality like walking into a spider's web and breaking the macabre tension with a fantasy knife.
It's a fantastic story. Although slightly sad, it is layered with mystery and an unlikely investigation trio of Potkin, Stubbs, and Mandrel (who is my favourite character) the walking Swiss army knife. The book is littered with humour, heart and some fantastic plot moments that everyone will absolutely love. I read this book so quickly; I could not put it down.
The setting feels monochrome and atmospheric which encapsulates the story giving it a timeless, vintage quality and a slightly unique feel. It will easily hook you in and then sucker punch you at the end. Excitingly, this might be the beautiful start to an amazing new series. If so, it will certainly be at the top of my list for 2019.