Flyntlock Bones: The Sceptre Of The Pharaohs by Derek Keilty, illustrated by Mark Elvins

Publication Date: 04 June 2020

The Blurb

‘Welcome to the Black Hound – a ship full o’ the cleverest pirate investigators ya ever set eyes upon.’ The captain pauses. ‘You OK, lad? Ya gone paler than a full moon.’

When young Flynn becomes too old to stay at the Baskervile orphanage, he applies for a job as cabin boy on the Black Hound. But once aboard, the dreadful reality sinks in – he’s on a pirate ship! However, with nowhere else in the world to go, he has no option but to give it a try.

The Review

All aboard the Black Hound for a swashbuckling adventure across the Seven Seas, and specifically to the Isle Of Tut where the Gypshun Museum has been ransacked. With another pirate crew skulking about, there’s no time to lose if the reformed pirates are to save the day.

The characters are easy to like (or despise depending on your pirating preference) and we watch Flynn grow from desperate orphan to seafaring sleuth as he gains his sea legs and fights for his place on the crew.

Drawing on Ancient Egyptian beliefs and curses, and pirate lore, the setting is strangely familiar yet used in a unique way. There is much to pique the interest of budding historians on the ways of pirates and the search for King Tut.

Captivating illustrations add wit and depth to this highly illustrated chapter book as well as bringing the settings to life. I particularly enjoyed the double page spread of their journey to the library!

Flyntlock Bones is sure to make a splash with younger readers stepping out on their own plank reading adventures. I’m already looking forward to setting sail with Flynn, Red and the crew of The Black Hound for more sleuthing at sea in the next installment of this fabulously fun trilogy.

Great for fans of:

  • Adventures Of The Steam Punk Pirates by Gareth P. Jones
  • The Legend Of Frog by Guy Bass

The Guest Post by Derek Keilty

I hit on the idea for Flyntlock Bones after noticing a doodle I’d scribbled in the margin of a different children’s story I was working on. It was a doodle of a skull and crossbones only with a magnifying glass over one of the skull eye sockets, and underneath I had written Pirate Investigators. I think I was messing about with ‘Private Investigators’, changing it to Pirate which sounded sort of quirky. The story I was working on wasn’t going anywhere so I decided to park it and write my pirate story instead which- shiver me timbers- from the very first page seemed to take off.

The first book comes out June 2020, entitled Flyntlock Bones: The Sceptre of the Pharaohs. It’s about a young orphan, Flyntlock Bones or Flynn for short, who applies for the job of cabin boy on the Black Hound, not knowing he has boarded a pirate ship. But he quickly discovers that these pirates are different from your normal rum-swilling, treasure-looting, swashbuckling, scourge o’ the seas pirates. They are ex-pirates turned detectives. ‘It’s clues we’re after, not treasure!’ the captain explains. And soon Flynn is setting sail for the Seven Seas, on a perilous quest to recover ancient treasure bound by a magical curse.

What I love about writing for children is that anything is possible, the most amazing and incredible things can happen to your characters. It’s just so much fun. I really enjoy the world building in Flyntlock and merging genres by mixing pirates with detectives.

Maybe I got the idea for pirates who embark on a career change from my own recent job change. Last April I took the plunge and retired from the civil service to try and re-launch my children’s author career after a quiet spell following the success of Will Gallows a few years back. I had been approaching agents and sending lots of material to publishers but without any luck. Then literally a month after retiring I got an extremely exciting email from the wonderful crew at Scallywag Press in London offering a three-book deal for Flyntlock Bones. The book is highly illustrated with an illustration on almost every page drawn by debut artist Mark Elvins who used to be a lawyer (more career changes-ha).

And as Flyntlock Bones is a trilogy, I am happy to say there are more adventures to come for young Flynn and the crew of the Black Hound. I’ve already finished book two which is called Flyntlock Bones: The Eye of Mogdrod. And the final book Flyntlock Bones: The Ghost of Captain Scarletbeard will come out in 2022.

Thank you so much for that wonderfully insightful guest post Derek. If you’d like to know hear more, why not listen to the first chapter of Flyntlock Bones: The Sceptre Of The Pharaohs…

FLYNTLOCK BONES: The Sceptre of the Pharaohs by Derek Keilty, illustrated by Mark Elvins out now in paperback (£6.99, Scallywag Press)

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