“Montgomery Flinch gripped the sides of the reading lectern, his knuckles whitening as he stared out into the darkness of the auditorium. His bristling eyebrows arched and the gleam of his dark eyes seemed to dart across the faces of each audience member in turn. A mesmerised silence hung over the stage; it was as if the theatre itself was holding its breath as it waited for the conclusion to his latest spine-chilling tale. The expectant hush seemed to deepen as Flinch finally began to speak…”
And so begins Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge, published today. An expectant hush is settling over the Nosy Crow offices as it makes its (beautifully jacketed) way out into the world. Set in 1899, it’s a gripping tale of skulduggery, spiders and teenage sleuthing, with ideas about literary creation and story-telling at its very heart.
Every night at twelve minutes to midnight the inmates of Bedlam, London’s notorious hospital for the insane, rise from their beds and begin scribbling strange words on any surface they can find – the walls of their cells, their clothes, even their own skin. What can it all mean? Penelope Treadwell, thirteen-year-old owner of the bestselling magazine, The Penny Dreadful, is intrigued. She’s always seeking sinister stories to fill her magazine’s pages but she’s never encountered anything as chilling as this. Soon she’s ensnared in a venomous plot, and Penny realises that this isn’t just a story, it’s the future. And the future looks deadly…
The Bookseller has already said that it’s a “really pacey historical thriller with a great sense of eerie Victorian atmosphere” and we’re sure more plaudits will follow now that it’s out there for real. Congratulations, Chris, on writing a great book and let’s hope that no spiders suffered in its research. Well, not too many, anyway.
Happy Publication Day from everyone at Nosy Crow!