About the book

The Secret on the Second Shelf

If your mum vanished on Bonfire Night how far would you go to find the truth? Timothy Shaw travels 300 years into the past, battling DECEIVERS – creatures that shift between human and bird form – in a supernatural race against time to unravel his mum’s disappearance and unlock a dark secret. A secret that holds the key to the survival of mankind itself…

The Secret on the Second Shelf is a fantasy adventure novel, likely to appeal to fans of Philip Pullman, and/or those who like a good mix of mystery, scary monsters and time travel.   It’s targeting 9-12 year olds, but is equally suitable for the older kids among us!

It features an ancient race called the Deceivers. They’re not a friendly bunch and have the rather annoying habit of shape-shifting into bird-like creatures when you least expect it.  Set in Cambridge, the protagonist, Tim, must confront these scary beasts before he can uncover the truth about his mum, after she disappears on bonfire night – but also learn the ultimate truth about himself.  Who is he really?

Gemma Bowen, who runs the after-school art club, helps him unravel the mystery when they find themselves transported back in time on their quest for the truth. Gemma is a strong, feisty female character with a love of art and her quirky cat, Einstein – who, by the way, has a habit of getting into trouble!

Read on for more teasers…or watch the book trailer here.

Big fireworks with silhouettes of people watching it

14-year-old Tim’s world is turned upside down when his mum disappears on bonfire night, drawing him into a series of supernatural events.

When he comes face to face with a secret society of human-bird shifting creatures, the Deceivers, he has no idea what truth lies ahead.


What do the flashes of colour Tim keeps seeing mean?


What secret do the Deceivers want to prevent him from uncovering?

Black man

Can he find the truth behind his mum’s disappearance?