Thursday 9 June 2022

Robbie or How to be a Detective by Caroline Conran BLOG TOUR #CarolineConran @UnicornPubGroup #Robbie #HowToBeADetective @RandomTTours


Robbie is lonely at home with his parents in the Port of Arlen, his father is strict, his school is brutal and he lives in a world of his own, an imaginary place in which he is a detective, finding out secrets. 

When he gets a pair of binoculars, this world expands to show him a place full of shadows, of mysteries and of menace. 

He has to face difficult challenges, fight for what he thinks is right and stay loyal to those he loves.

Robbie or How To Be A Detective by Caroline Conran was published on 15 May 2022 by Universe / Unicorn Publishing. 

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from Robbie or How to be a Detective by Caroline Conran 

I am Robbie I don’t have any brothers or sisters It’s just me I live in Northern Ireland, in a town called Arlen 
My parents are always annoying me with their arguing They even row about what we have for breakfast Mum hates cooking, so that’s when it starts – at breakfast

I don’t want to hear it, so I go to my secret place in the woods, on the far side of the field at the back, and look for spies

I want to catch a spy and put handcuffs on him Then I’ll have him at my mercy I’ll bring sandwiches and eat them in front of him one by one, until he’s so hungry he tells me everything

My school is near my house and I can get there on my bike I’ll chain the spy to the railings of the school and everyone will say, ‘Robbie caught that villain!’ and then I’ll feel like a real detective, which is what I want to be

Arlen is a ferry port, and my dad’s the ferry master and he’s an Orangeman He’s called Mark He wears a bowler hat and marches with his friends He’s very strict and he quotes the Bible – a lot My mum is called Rosanna but everyone calls her Rose She sometimes works at the health centre but she’s mostly at home She looks out for me when Dad is in a bad mood

My parents row about everything For instance, who should have the car, what time meals are, and whether I should have braces on my teeth Mum won that one in the end, but Dad thought it was all vanity I don’t mind the braces very much Not if it means I’m going to look more like Robbie Williams, who I think I was named after

Upstairs in my room I play his music quite loud through my headphones so I don’t have to listen to the slamming doors and shouting coming from the kitchen Sometimes I can hear my mother throwing pans on the floor Dad doesn’t want her to sing, and that makes her dead angry Sometimes she breaks things I have to pretend not to be there, to be invisible It’s very useful for a detective to be able to hide

I chose a good hiding place under a tree in the woods behind the house I feel invisible when I’m there, but I can see the house I can see what’s going on

I want a pair of binoculars for Christmas I said I want them for birdwatching but it’s really for watching people and finding things out

I’m going for a bike ride in a moment My mum seems quite pleased I’ll go up there and cover my bike in the leaves and then I will hide

I’m wearing my fleece, which is warm, and I’ve put some biscuits in my pocket in case I have to stay there a long time After all, detectives often have to watch for hours and hours

Caroline Conran wrote for The Sunday Times Magazine for thirteen years, and for Queen Magazine amongst many other publications. 
She introduced the Nouvelle Cuisine to Britain and has written numerous cookery books including The Cookbook, written with her husband Terence Conran, which sold over a million copies. 
Fidel Castro was a fan. 
With Sir Terence she started Habitat and as the first kitchen and fabric buyer she travelled widely. She has five children and thirteen grandchildren. 
This is her first novel.

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