They hit cafes for breakfast then nine to five at the office, and fritter away evenings at jazz clubs.
But paradise is still a distant dream, for there are devils amongst the angels.
Lucas Panda is missing; clues on the riverbank suggest he was probably kidnapped. Enter Frank. Who else you gonna call? Hard-boiled penguin and the finest detective in town. And meet his new partner, Detective Chico Monkey – yeah, the wisecrackin’ kid with all the snappy suits. But the stakes have been raised; three more creatures are missing and the citizens of Noah’s Kingdom are faced with possible extinction. Can the grouchy bird and plucky young ape save the city from doom? Or, will evil prevail and escape the claws of justice?
‘Animal noir’ peppered with plenty of humour; this thrilling debut novel from award-winning comedian JT Bird is an intriguing blend of Jungle Book and Chinatown (Zootopia for grown-ups?! Watership Down with Fedoras!?) – perfect for fans of animal fiction, or mysteries, adventure and crime. A gripping yarn, packed with weird and wonderful creatures, for youngsters and adults alike (or anyone who’s crying out for anthropomorphic detectives!!)
Bells chime above the door as the monkey dives inside to escape the relentless downpour. He shakes a few drops off the soaking wet suit and dries his eyes with a sleeve. It’s a pit of chaos: animals queuing for breakfast, trying to eat breakfast, and serving breakfast, all within an inappropriate amount of space. A pack of sailor seagulls are babbling loudly at their table beside the doorway – typical noisy gulls.
Squidged behind a table in the corner and facing foggy windows, sits a hard-boiled penguin devouring a plate full of scrambled eggs and mackerel. He’s a ‘King’ penguin, so shorter than an ‘Emperor’ but stout with a sharp beak and orange fur at the back of his neck which closely resembles a collar. Meet Frank – the only bird in town wearing a beige crumpled rain mac and chocolate colored fedora (the hat of choice for any true detective). His coat looks a shade too big and the hat’s tilted too far back, but he’s never been one for fashion.
Chico takes a seat opposite Frank, but the penguin barely flinches, such is the desire to finish his breakfast as swiftly as possible. Vote Spots – the monkey can’t help but notice the bold wilting poster of current mayor, George Leopard, overlooking their greasy table.
‘Ahem’. Chico tries to catch his attention. Frank licks the plate clean, before taking a long sip of pitch-black coffee. As the cup returns to the table, he finally sets eyes on his latest partner, and breaks the awkward silence.
‘You must be the chimp? Hot shot from West Bay. They tell me your good,’ he says, tapping the table with a cheap knife and fork. ‘I thought you’d be taller.’ By the sound of his voice you’d think he owned a pizza parlour, as opposed to being the city’s most experienced sleuth.
J T Bird is an award-winning stand-up comedian from North London, where he lives with his wife and child. His humble abode sits neatly between the former homes of HG Wells and Robert Louis Stevenson…so there’s no pressure to write something utterly successful and wonderful.
Bird was actually ‘The Chosen One’ that prophets foresaw would rescue the world from all the powers of darkness – however, he opted for a career as a clown and author instead…
Another little known fact – his father was sent from the future to protect him from an android assassin, and his mother’s possessed by a demon – but hey, we all have family issues right?