Secret of the Shetlands

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     The lonely, windswept Shetland Islands, lying between Scotland and Norway, play their own strategic part in unraveling the surprising puzzle that is innocently triggered off by a red beaked puffin. Friends Sinnie and Lisbeth, both sixteen, are out looking for flotsam to salvage after a three day gale when their attention is caught by the strangely acrobatic bird. Obviously in trouble, they see that something like a book is caught on its foot. Suddenly it is raining one pound bank notes! The girls rescue what they can, carefully marking the cliff ledge on which the puffin finally frees himself of the wallet—only to notice a new disturbance among the cliff dwelling birds: this time it is a man, who comes crashing down a hundred feet into the sea! In the days following, Sinnie, Lisbeth and Old Meg, Lisbeth’s grandmother, suddenly find themselves caught in the middle of malevolent powers converging upon their remote island home. Who is the man rescued from the sea, and why does his lost wallet on the rocky island called the Viking Skerry set up such a terrifying chain of events? Every bit of the girls’ quick thinking and courage, as well as all of Old Meg’s wisdom, will be called upon to find the way of safety for them all.
     Secret of the Shetlands, (originally published under Margaret Ruthin, one of Arthur Catherall’s pseudonyms) displays the author’s great gift for opening a door on an exciting geographic location and dramatizing the unique lifestyle dependent on that place. With the terse spare style of a master storyteller, he creates a fast paced, page-turning thriller in which the reader joins lively and realistic characters plunged into the adventure that has suddenly entered their little world.

Original Book: 176 pages

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