Malamander by Thomas Taylor
Malamander is a seafaring adventure set in the coastal town of Eerie-on-Sea and is the story of a legendary fish-man creature (of the same name) rumoured to be in hiding there. At Eerie-on-Sea the air smells fishy and the sea mist sends its ghostly tentacles about town. But, please don’t be alarmed by this story’s dismal setting, its characters are full of theatrical aplomb. In particular, the hero of this story, Herbert Lemon, a twelve-year-old boy employed as a Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel.
Herbert is the only person with the necessary detective skills to help Violet Parma, a young girl who is lost and needs to be found and who also happens to be on the run from Boathook Man; a very frightening bearded sailor. Together, Herbert and Violet work to solve a mystery beginning with a clue that leads them to the Eerie Book Dispensary, a magical place where the book chooses the reader, not the other way around. So begins this rollicking, suspense-driven adventure that will thrill, frighten and delight readers aged 9+.