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Young Adult mystery set in Edinburgh

21st April 2016

The Calling by Philip Caveney – Young Adult mystery set in Edinburgh.

The Calling is a really good, and very inventive, Young Adult mystery. It will certainly appeal to the age group at which it is aimed.

IMG_3900A boy wakes up as the train he is on pulls into Edinburgh Waverley station. He has no idea who he is or where he is – his mind is a complete blank. He wanders confused around Edinburgh (at the height of the Festival) for the rest of the day, and eventually falls asleep in a park. He is awoken by a clock striking midnight… to the most amazing of sights. The close by statue of Colonel Alexander and his horse, Sultan, is moving – and is ‘alive’. Each year from midnight August 2nd to midnight August 3rd is ‘The Calling’ – when all the statues in Edinburgh come to life for 24 hours. But our hero is the first human to have witnessed this – all other humans fall asleep where they stand (or lie) and wake up 24 hours later unaware of what has been happening. The Colonel takes the boy (temporarily named as Ed Fest) under his wing – and introduces him to the other statues. He meets David Livingstone, Sir Walter Scott, King Charles the Second, William Wallace, Queen Victoria, and her husband Albert. And, finally, Sherlock Holmes – who offers to help him solve the mystery of who he is and where he has come from.

The arch sleuth deduces quite a lot from Ed’s accent, clothes – and a bump on his head which may well have induced his amnesia. Using a transportation portal designed by James Clerk Maxwell (another statue, and well known Edinburgh physicist) they head back to where they believe Ed came from, discover his real name, and solve the mystery that brought him to Edinburgh – a mystery involving some diamonds and some pretty unsavoury characters.

The story is well and amusingly written – with all sorts of technological gadgets to keep the teenage audience entertained. It is also a brilliant read in TripFiction terms – at the end of the book there is a map of the thirteen statutes featured and their precise locations in Edinburgh. A great way to see Edinburgh would be to walk around with map in hand. And those who’ve read the book first can imagine the characters they would meet, and conversations they would have, as they progress.

Tony for the TripFiction team

You can connect with Philip via his website

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