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The Ministry of Ghosts

Alex Shearer
"A spooky, funny mystery with ghost-hunting, useless adults ... and tea"
The Ministry of Ghosts – picture

A spooky, funny mystery with ghost-hunting, useless adults … and tea

Thruppence and Tim don’t know what they’re getting themselves into when they ring the bell at the house with dusty windows and a tarnished name plate to enquire about the advertised ‘Saturday Person’. What could be so difficult about an unspecified Saturday job? Well, had that name plate been properly cleaned, Thruppence and Tim might not have been so keen to enter …

Pressured by the stern Minister Beeston from the Department of Economies, the Ministry of Ghosts has been given three months to prove the existence or non-existence of ghosts, or else it will be shut down! As it seems that children are particularly magnetic to ghosts and supernatural beings, Thruppence and Tim are added to their ghost-catching team. And although neither of them are scared by talk of ghosts or monsters, they couldn’t have imagined the truth behind what they will find …

Publication Date: Thu 2 Oct 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471403880
ISBN Ebook: 9781471403897

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Author

Alex Shearer

Alex Shearer was born in Wick, in the far North of Scotland. He has written several TV series, stage plays, radio plays and comedy scripts. Moving into writing for children, his novels BOOTLEG and THE GREATEST STORE IN THE WORLD were adapted for television by the BBC, and his 2003 novel THE SPEED OF THE DARK was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. He has previously published THE CLOUD HUNTERS, SKY RUN and THE MINISTRY OF GHOSTS with Hot Key Books. Alex lives in Somerset and is married with two grown-up children.

Extract

Some of the best and most interesting things in life are often right under your nose. Yet you don't even notice them, for you are too busy looking elsewhere. Perhaps many of you lose yourselves in daydreams of big adventures in far-away places, but fail to see the possibilities of what is just around the corner. Home, you may think, is a dull, everyday sort of place. Not much excitement there, just the endless same again . . . At least that was what young Thruppence Coddley thought, and her school friend Tim Legge, if asked, would no doubt have agreed with her. Adventures were what you hoped to find on your holidays, on a desert island, or up a mountain, or in a forest, or an swamp. There would probably be a crocodile involved. You didn't think to find excitement and danger just down the road and round the corner, along a boring old street with drab buildings in it. Yet that is the great thing about adventures: they creep up on you softly and tap you on the shoulder when you least expect it. 'Excuse me, Thruppence,' they say. 'I've been looking for you.' 'Pardon me, Tim,' they whisper. 'But have you got a minute?' And startled, amazed, a little nervous, but expectant and excited, Thruppence Coddley would have said, 'Hello. You're an adventure are you? I'm glad to meet you then, as I've been wanting one for quite some time.' As for Tim Legge, he'd have gripped that adventure tightly by the arm. 'You're not getting away,' he'd have told it. 'You stay right there and don't move. And don't talk to anybody else. You're mine.' Such is the way of adventures and of the people who have them. Some lucky people attract them, the way magnets attract bits of metal, and their lives are nothing but adventures, all the way to the end. Maybe if one tapped you on the shoulder too, you might not turn it away either. Even if it scared you half to death. As adventures often do. Especially spooky ones.