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Our cover illustration is taken from Wake Up, Bear ... It's Christmas, Stephen Gammell, Heinemann, 0 434 94010 0, £3.95. We are most grateful to Heinemann for help in using this picture. We are also indebted to Raymond Briggs and Hamish Hamilton for the cover of Extra.
Good, fast mystery yarns are fairly thin on the ground but, despite the slightly confusing beginning, this one quickly gets into its stride and adequately fits the bill. Events centre around the Paxton Carnival and the entry planned by a band of fearsome ex-wrestlers who call themselves 'The Brotherhood', not a bunch to tangle with. However, someone is daft enough to try when he steals the canvas octopus containing the gentlemen's charity collection which was to adorn their float on the big day. Its recovery by Dusty Wilkins, son of Heavy Harry Wilkins, especially after it has been strewn all over dockland in a crazy car chase involving the Mad Dane, makes exciting reading for upper junior/lower secondary boys and girls.