Leonora is an orphan, who lives an isolated life on remote Crabby island in the dubious care of her Uncle Luther with only her otter Twitchy and housekeeper Mildred for company. Mildred is kindly but possibly the world’s worst cook – sludge brownies are a speciality!
Leonora spends her time in her laboratory dreaming up and building the most amazing inventions. These range from an electric, sock-sorting octopus, to the X Lox which can crack any door code. But most impressive of all is her latest top-secret invention ‘The Switcheroo’, a teleporting machine.
Life changes dramatically for Leonora when a castaway, a boy called Jack, is washed up on the shore. From him she discovers that her uncle has been stealing her inventions and making a fortune from them. He has lied to her, not only by telling her that sweets are illegal, but also, she suspects about what happened to her parents. She decides to do all she can to find out what her uncle is up to, try to prevent him getting his hands on the Switcheroo and investigate what has happened to her parents. Luckily, she has help, her new friend Jack, a kindly but hapless sea Captain (possibly the world’s worst sailor), and her old friends Mildred and Twitchy.
Unsurprisingly things don’t go totally to plan. However, after a series of dramatic scenes, including a shipwreck, the discovery of a hoard of treasure, the loss of the Switcheroo and a daring escape in an improvised balloon, the story ends happily with Leonora safely living with Mildred and Captain Spang on the mainland and her villainous uncle thwarted in his plans.
With lots of humour in both the story and the perfectly pitched illustrations, whacky inventions, a brave and inventive heroine, an evil villain and an unlikely cast of likeable supporting characters, this is an enjoyable and fast-paced adventure story.
For readers who enjoy this story, more adventures await in book two Leonora Bolt: Deep Sea Calamity due to be published in June 2022, as she continues the search to find her missing parents.