The Ghastly McNastys: Raiders of the Lost Shark is the second book about Gruesome and Grisly McNasty, the ghastliest and nastiest pirates ever to sail the Seven Seas. They’re searching for Captain Syd’s lost treasure, rumoured to be buried in Little Snoring castle. There happens to be a pirate movie, Raiders of the Lost Shark, being filmed at the castle and lots of the villagers are auditioning to be pirate extras. They’re all dressed for the part, so the McNastys blend in nicely! But children Tat and Hetty know are determined to get to the treasure first, and they come up with a plan to trap the McNastys.
This really is a brilliantly funny book. There’s an array of wonderful characters – a cat called Dog, a one-legged parrot, poor Mrs Slime who has a persistent cold, and a very bossy film director, among others. The story is littered with jokes and asides, and the illustrations provide some wonderfully silly touches – ringed doughnuts fly through the pages, there’s a picture of Hetty with a beard (‘Hetty definitely didn’t have a beard, although this is what she would look like if she did’), and a chapter heading running away. What I think is particularly impressive is that, even with all this hilarity going on, the book still manages to have a strong storyline with a very satisfying climax.