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The Billionaire's Curse
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The Billionaire's Curse comes with the word winner stamped all over it. Richard Newsome has written a terrific page-turner adventure that will have children between nine and 12 waiting impatiently for its sequel. Thirteen-year-old Gerald Wilkins is whisked from Melbourne to London on the death of his unknown great aunt, who just happens to be the richest woman in Europe. Gerald, her unwitting heir, manages to attract the ire of just about everyone, from his now excluded English relatives to the very peeved butler, especially when he begins to suspect that Aunt Geraldine has been murdered, and it's something to do with the theft of the world's most valuable diamond. We are on familiar ground here, a quest, but Newsome handles this with such pace, humour and wit that the reader can't help but be drawn in. Throw in some particularly eccentric characters and a good dose of post-colonial separation anxiety, and you have a great whodunit which is almost as engrossing for adults as it is for children. The Billionaire's Curse was the winner of Text Publishing's inaugural prize for young adults and children's writing last year. There is plenty to get excited about with this one. Toni Whitmont works at Booktopia, an online bookseller

"There's no letup in the pacing, and all the tried-and-true mystery elements add up to an Anthony Horowitz-style romp."--Kirkus Reviews

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