Publication Day shout out for Island of Fear by Misha Herwin

Happy Publication Day Misha, delighted to be able to help you launch Island of Fear into the book world today.

Island of Fear is the third book featuring Misha’s young heroine Letty Parker and her friends. The books are set in a time and place similar to Victorian Bristol, except that this is a magical world where Gargoyles and dragons stalk the rooftops and a bear runs the organised criminal underworld. The books, best described as magical adventure are aimed at 8-12 years olds.

What does Island of Fear have in store for Letty this time? In the previous book, Bridge of Lies, Letty had established the Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency. A year on and it’s still in business. When Letty is asked by her best friend, Hepzibah, to solve a family mystery she willingly agrees. She has no idea that investigations will lead the Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency team across the high seas to the exotic isles of the Caribbean.

Letty, Jeb and Mango, are soon fighting for their very lives in a world where pirates rule the seas, evil plantation managers hold the land, and the forests are filled with duppies and dark magic.

This is a far cry from Letty’s first appearance in City of Secrets when she was a resourceful 12 year old living on her wits and selling pies on the streets of Bristol.


An early review of Island of Fear

“The narrative cracks along at a terrific pace. Letty herself is full of character and pluck, and both the language the characters speak, with its echoes of thieves cant, and the tone recall the writing of Joan Aiken. The magic is adroitly handled, and the plot and concern for the characters keeps you hooked.” Jessica Saunders

Where did Misha get her inspiration for the series

In her interview with Jan Edwards Misha reveals her inspiration for the setting, the stories and the characters,

Bristol is a city I know well and love. I was brought up there and have used some of my favourite places, like The Christmas Steps, in the story. Transferring streets and terraces that really exist to my fantasy world is something I enjoy as I can build on what I know yet make it darker and scarier with a touch of sinister magic.  Which is not to say that the book is verges on horror. I would prefer to compare it to Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”, where the children face dangers yet have, or will develop, the strength to overcome them.

What I like about Letty Parker is her courage and independence. She might be scared, but she’ll do it anyway and not let any so called authority stand in her way. She comes from a line of great role models, Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, the Chalet School Girls, Katniss Everdeen and Captain Nancy of “Swallows and Amazons” to name but a few.

We need more of these girls out there. Girls who are prepared to stand up for themselves, say what they think, yet at the same time have a keen sense of what is right and wrong and a fierce loyalty to their friends. This, I hope is the essence of the “Adventure of Letty Parker” series.

And it is not all about the girls. Letty’s friends Jebediah Hill, leader of a gang of pick-pockets, his side-kick, Mango and the mysterious half human, half Nephilim, Gabriel all play their parts.

They are all characters that simply could not be ignored.  My first view of Letty is at sunset on the wharf at the Bristol docks. “A dark tangle of masts and rigging was etched against the sky and the setting sun stained the water red.” A faint breeze lifts the hair at the back of her neck…

From that moment she was fully formed. The plot came next and needed refining and working on. Next came a great deal of editing and then, finally, Letty Parker was ready to go out into the world.

The Adventures of Letty Parker series

City of Secrets (Book 1)

Letty Parker lives by her wits. Estranged from her family, she sells pies on the streets of Bristol. But this is a Bristol full of dark secrets, peopled by gangs, monsters, dragons and gargoyles – and by creatures older than time. When her friend and stepsister disappear, when members of Jeb’s gang vanish, Letty is plunged headlong into a conspiracy where homeless children are being spirited away to a place where a terrible fate awaits them. These are the poor and the lost children of the streets whom no one seems to care about – except for Letty. But what if a rich child went missing? Would the authorities then act? Together, Letty and Jeb hatch a plan…


Bridge of Lies (Book 2)

Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency is finally in business. But before they can take on their first case, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous suspension bridge is blown up. Letty decides to investigate but getting hired is not as easy as she thought, especially when the Dark Ones have their own plans for her. Then there is Ma Pountney and her witches, plus the Bear and his gang of villains. Each determined to stand in Letty’s way. Nothing goes right from the very start and one by one Letty’s friends desert her.

Even in a city, crowded with folk arriving for the Balloon Festival, Letty finds herself alone – and in the greatest of danger.


Island of Fear (Book 3)

When Letty Parker is asked by her best friend, Hepzibah, to solve a family mystery she willingly agrees. She has no idea that investigations will lead the Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency team across the high seas to the exotic isles of the Caribbean.

Letty, Jeb and Mango, are soon fighting for their very lives in a world where pirates rule the seas, evil plantation managers hold the land, and the forests are filled with duppies and dark magic.



Meet Misha Herwin

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I am a writer of books  for adults and children. My novels are “House of Shadows” a time slip novel. “Picking up the Pieces” a story of women of a certain age, “Shadows on the Grass” a historical novel based on the history of my family and how they came from Poland to the UK after WW2.

My children’s books include The Dragonfire trilogy for the mid-grade 8-12 age range; and my latest book “City of Secrets” for the same readership. “City of Secrets” is the first of the Adventures of Letty Parker and her friends.

I have also written plays, for professional companies and for schools and my short stories have appeared in a number of  anthologies, both in the UK and the USA.

In my career, I have taught kids from 9-18 in schools and colleges, including running drama workshops downtown in Kingston, Jamaica.

I run creative writing and drama workshops in schools, museums, libraries, and most recently at the New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening and baking. Muffins are a speciality.

You can follow Misha via her website and Twitter. Read Misha’s Five on Friday here.

Happy Publication Day Misha!!

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