THE DEATH COLLECTOR
New York : Bloomsbury , Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2006.
"Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea." And so begins a tale involving a pickpocket, an assistant at the British Museum, and a clergyman’s daughter as they try to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Wilkes, fragments of a diary, a dinosaur-like creature, and zombies. The future of the world may depend on this unlikely trio as they try to thwart the madman who is creating these monstrosities. (Lori Loranger, Librarian, Grisham M.S., Round Rock ISD, TX)
George Archer, nineteen years old, has found himself embroiled in a mystery and in a dangerous situation. He has just been asked to join a mysterious department of the British Museum; the Department of Unclassified Artefacts at the British Museum, which answers to no one and is not even listed in the museum. But nonetheless, it exists and George finds that his life is in danger due to a tiny scrap of a dead scientist’s diary in his wallet.
In the meantime, Arthur Wilkes has followed the same routine as he has for thirty years. He has come home for tea and has taken his dog for a walk. All of this would seem ordinary, except that Arthur’s funeral was four days ago.
Eddie Hopkins, a young boy who must live on the London streets by his wits, lifts George’s wallet as well as the wallet of Reverend Oldfield. When Eddie is caught by Elizabeth, Reverend Oldfield’s daughter, he gives George’s wallet to Elizabeth by mistake. Suddenly Eddie, Elizabeth and George are entangled in a plot involving zombies, mechanical creatures from the dead and a mad scientist with a sinister plot involving that spark…the key…to life…itself!
(n.b. to adults) This is a growing trend of books set in historical times in England that explores science as it might have been had it gone a different direction. This particular story is set in Victorian London. I think that science fiction fans would enjoy this as well as those who enjoy mystery. (Melissa Bowman, Melissa.Bowman@pisd.edu, Armstrong Middle School, Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2008-2009)
Monsters -- Fiction.
Zombies -- Fiction.
London (England) -- Fiction.
Mystery and detective stories.