Sometimes it’s difficult for parents to get the right books for their kids who aren’t quite old enough for YA and are too young for ‘baby stories’. Simon Fraser found this for his own children and has solved the problem – by writing a book himself! Presenting his debut, Henry Oxshott – Hidden in Plain Sight, this is one cat crime caper you won’t want to miss.
It is the 1980s. Henry Oxshott is a cat of medium intelligence, lazy but well bred. He lives in a ﬂat which was left to him by one of his relatives who spent most of her time buying antiques and paintings which now ﬁll the ﬂat. He has no job, no income and is down to his last few pounds. His ﬂat is dirty and needs to be cleaned, so when the local cleaning company oﬀer the services of a cleaner for free he jumps at the chance. The cleaner turns out to be Finch a bulldog, ex-Army, honest, older and wiser than Henry. Finch’s arrival coincides with a letter from solicitors acting on the estate of Henry’s deceased Uncle Bartholomew (a famous explorer).
At the reading of the will a mysterious and beautiful cat called Daphne appears, as well as Henry’s other Uncle, the nasty and greedy Uncle Crispin. To everyone’s surprise Daphne inherits Yews Hall, the family ancestral home in Sussex. Uncle Crispin makes a mysterious reference to a painting but all he inherits is a walking stick. Henry gets given a Bible. With Finch’s help, Henry decodes a message in the Bible suggesting that his real bequest is at Yews Hall. With great excitement, they embark on a treasure hunt like no other as Henry and Finch do battle with dark forces to find the real prize, which all along is hidden in plain sight.
“I read my children many books,” says Simon, who is based in London, “and definitely felt a lack of good stories for kids aged 7 – 11 years old. I hope they find my story amusing!”