Allen & Unwin, 2013
Book One in the ‘City of Orphans’ series
Monsters have been infesting London’s dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That’s why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs so that Alfred can kill them. One life-changing day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Sarah Pickles runs a local gang of pickpockets, three of whom have disappeared. Edith Eames is an educated lady who’s studying the mythical beasts of English folklore. Both of them threaten the only life Birdie’s ever known. But Birdie soon realises she needs Miss Eames’s help to save her master, defeat Sarah Pickles and vanquish an altogether nastier villain.
This title is also available in North America as ‘How to Catch a Bogle’ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). View the trailer for ‘How to Catch a Bogle’ on YouTube. Winner of the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers and the Adelaide Festive Award for Literature in the children’s category.
‘The book, which is part Great Expectations, part Ghostbusters and a little bit Vindication of the Rights of Woman, mixes monster murder with work ethics and the importance of a girl being able to make a living for herself . . . For all its grime, Jinks’s world is rich.’
The New York Times
‘A Very Unusual Pursuit has a Dickensian feel to it . . . and dark shades of Lemony Snicket and Philip Pullman. The first in a series, it’s an unusually vivid historical adventure.’
The Sydney Morning Herald
‘This is top-notch storytelling from Jinks, full of wit, a colorful cast of rogues, and delectable slang.’
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
‘With period detail, Dickensian charm, a brave heroine and
lots of suspense, this novel could make fantasy lovers out
of historical fiction fans, and vice versa.’
The Huffington Post