Today is World Book Day and to celebrate here's an EXCLUSIVE extract from the new Riverdale book, The Mystery of Riverdale Tor.
So forget all your chores for a while, find a comfy spot, and dive right in!
Charlie picked up the paperback copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles, smoothed the dog-eared cover and looked sidelong at Poppy. ‘You know what Thursday is?’
‘The day after Wednesday and the day before Friday?’
Charlie tutted loudly. ‘It’s World Book Day, that’s what it is. And you know what happens at school on World Book Day?’
Poppy’s face cleared as she guessed what he was up to. ‘You dress as characters from your favourite books?’
‘Exactly! So I was thinking I might go as Sherlock Holmes -’
‘I thought you hated fancy dress. You made a massive fuss when you had to dress up as a shepherd in the nativity last Christmas.’
‘That was when I was eight. Eight-year-old boys do not like dressing up. Nine-year-old boys are more mature and we don’t mind. Especially if we can dress up as someone cool, like Sherlock.’
‘You’d need a cape. And a deerstalker hat and a pipe. Oh, and you could take your magnifying glass.’
‘Yes, yes.’ Charlie’s head was bobbing up and down, ‘And Freddie could be the Hound of the Basketvilles and come with me. What d’you think?’
Poppy was quiet.
Charlie slithered off the bed and hopped from one foot to the other. ‘I know you didn’t agree when I wanted to decorate Chester in tinsel for the donkey auditions, but I promise I won’t make Freddie look silly.’
‘I don’t know why you’re asking me. They won’t let him into school anyway.’
‘Mr Bannister will,’ said Charlie with conviction. ‘He bought his sausage dog Banger in for Bring Your Dog to Work Day.’
‘But the Hound of the Baskervilles is a fiend. Freddie’s about as scary as a kitten.’
Charlie smiled roguishly. ‘Not after I’ve given him fangs and red eyes. And maybe squirted some tomato ketchup around the place.’
Poppy’s eyebrows shot up. ‘You are kidding, right?’
He dissolved into peels of laughter. ‘Of course I am! I promise there will be no fangs or fake blood. People will just have to use their imaginations, won’t they? So can I take him?’
Poppy grimaced. ‘You know I disagree with people making animals look silly for human gratification. But on this occasion I am of the opinion that it is educational. Therefore I have no objections. If it’s fine with Caroline and Dad, it’s fine with me.’
‘Yesss!’ shouted Charlie, punching the air and running out of the room. Poppy picked up the paperback but hadn’t read more than a page when her phone beeped with a text from Scarlett.
‘Finally,’ said Poppy, hoping her best friend was up for a homework session together after all. But as her eyes slid over the message her face fell.
Something terrible’s happened. Can you come over? NOW??
I hope you enjoyed that little sneak peek into The Mystery of Riverdale Tor. I thought it was an appropriate extract to send you on World Book Day!
If you're impatient to find out what has happened to Scarlett you won't have to wait too long as the book should be released in the next couple of weeks.
I promise to keep you posted. And in the meantime, happy reading!