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Published by David Fickling Books

Well – what it is to work in the book industry. I was happily working away at my emails and came across one from David Fickling – would I like to read the latest Garvie Smith novel?

I think that you are probably aware that I’m a big fan of Garvie so the answer was a very quick affirmative. In due course a copy of Hey, Sherlock! arrived…

Garvie has now left school and has managed to land himself a job (the reasons for this I won’t go into) – putting up fences with his friends. It seems this isn’t one of his fortes – at the end of the job, it’s his section falls to the ground.

The owner of the house (and new fence), however, isn’t really that concerned. She’s more annoyed with her teenage daughter who has ‘gone off again’…but things aren’t what they seem.

The end of this period of Garvie’s life (it is best to read them in order, I think, if only for the character development) – had me on the edge of my seat in the tube. I nearly forgot to get off and get to work.

Garvie and his friends continue to entice and amuse. Garvie’s ‘people skills’ are still developing.  Inspector Singh, has all my sympathy and as for Garvie’s mother – well, there are developments there too – I’m not going to say more…

These are fantastic books.

My brother Peter, will be amused. I am not a natural ‘numbers’ person – however, though most of the time I don’t understand all the mathematics that Garvie thinks about:

‘He lay there unblinking, looking at the ceiling, thinking about mathematical sequences. In particular, recurring terms. Pascal’s triangle, for instance. The triangle is an infinite symmetric number pyramid, each number the sum of the two numbers immediately above it, starting with 1 at the apex. The strange thing is that the number 3003 keeps cropping up…’

Image result for fibonacci sequence in snail shellsI did, however, learn more about the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…) and how that works. I knew of it, but only as phrase to do with shapes in nature. Snail shells use it – amongst other wonders of the world. I can now write the sequence without thinking about it…

NB. Well it just shows you…I have just looked up Pascal’s sequence too…which looks as though it deserves more investigation…when I have a moment or two… Perhaps if someone had shown this to me when I was doing maths at school, I might have become more curious about it…

Just flipped to the front of my copy of Hey Sherlock! and noticed the following list – which really does, perhaps explain why I love Garvie Smith:

  1. Lazy, rude, golden-hearted, aggravating, economical with the truth, kind (to those who deserve it).
  2. Highest IQ at Marsh Academy
  3. Lowest grades.
  4. Best mates with Felix (cat burglar), Smudge (stupidest boy at school and proud of it), Alex (who’s been selling something he shouldn’t).
  5. Wouldn’t dream of telling his mother he loves her. Besides, she wants to move back to Barbados and what is the point of that?
  6. Smokes, mainly tobacco.
  7. Liked by girls.
  8. Hated by the police, teachers, other boring adults.
  9. Exceptionally good at maths.
  10. Scared of dogs.

Perhaps its a good thing he’s a fictional character. Otherwise I think I would worry…






Published by David Fickling Books

Garvie Smith, Like Sherlock – but lazier

This is the second volume in the Garvie Smith series. I wrote about Running Girl a while ago, having rather fallen in love with Garvie. A young man whose abilities that far out weigh his inclinations to work towards his up and coming  exams.

In this new book  his mother is nearing melt-down.

The school that Garvie ‘attends’ is now in the throws of examination time – everyone is revising, and spending their last few hours and minutes before each exam, studying, writing notes, and reading over stuff, just one more time.

Garvie, of course, is not…His uncle keeps taking Garvie aside to talk to him, explaining what needs to be done. At least to keep his mother happy.

His mother is desperate, and keeps pulling him aside to stare at her son, her voice becoming more and more stringent as Garvie stands before her in the kitchen, explaining yet again what happened.

Garvie would like to keep his mother happy. The problem though is that a pupil from his school has been murdered. The most unlikely boy to die, you might have thought. A violinist – who never allowed his violin out of his hands. So what happened to it?

Another gloriously funny crime novel – set around some of my favourite characters… Inspector Singh is still struggling to keep his sanity (and his job) with Garvie’s exuberance and ‘help’, and he finds himself doing things he’d never usually think of doing…

This one has been published in hardback – but is well worth the slightly increased expenditure.

Published by David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910200674

This was astonishingly good. Garvie Smith has the highest IQ and the lowest grades, ever recorded in his school. He is a young man who goes his own way. Applies his own logic and stands out a little from his friends and those around him. He knows about imaginary numbers (I don’t) – and applies the logic of mathematics to the daily conundrums that happen around him. Exams are on the horison, and getting closer, and his mother is worried.

Then an ex-girlfriend is found dead, and he finds himself drawn into the investigation. His curiosity is sharpened and he starts looking at the crime in his own inimitable way. In the process he meets DI Singh with whom he has a rather antagonistic relationship. The story is complex, the characters are superb – and I really rather ‘fell’ for Garvie. Which is strange as my brother would tell you; I have never been one for numbers. Perhaps he (my brother) can explain imaginary numbers to me. If he can’t it won’t matter, it adds to the ‘seasoning’ for want of a better phrase, of Garvie’s character.

This is a marvellous book. Another book for the Crime genre for young readers. It is extraordinary and I was sorry when the book came to an end, though pleased to see there is at least one more book about Garvie to come. I shall buy it.