Book Review – Frank Penny and the Mystery of Ludlow Hums – Jeremy Elson

“Although a straightforward mystery tale, the story also tracks a teenage boy’s journey towards independence, stepping away from the comfort and familiarity of his home to embark on a new chapter in his life. It is laced with bold characters, has a subtle wit and is certain to keep you guessing to the very end.”

The story follows Frank, an ordinary 13 year old; except he doesn’t go to school. Home educated and living on his dad’s farm in rural Byeland, he loves his life, despite his annoying cousin, Phoebe, who lives with them, together with his aunt Rachel.

He really couldn’t be happier, until, out of the blue, he receives a highly prized invitation to Excelsus Academy for the Gallant and Gifted, attended by hand-picked students who go there to discover their special talents, whether it be a fighter, thinker or sorcerer, to name but a few.

This is beyond strange. No schools know about him, and he definitely has no gifts or talents – none – unless you count sheep shearing – but, unnervingly, the one thing he does know is that Excelsus never makes mistakes.

At the heart of the book’s mystery is the disappearance of petty villain, Ludlow Hums, but all is not what it seems as Frank becomes caught up in an unsolved murder involving two aged brothers and begins to reveal an ancient secret, kept hidden for centuries, which could change the world he lives in. Forever.

Jeremy Elson was born and brought up in Guildford and currently lives in Cranleigh. This is his first published work.

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