Thirteen-year-old Thomas Creeper hasn’t been dealt the best hand. He lives in the seaside town of Gloomsbury—a damp and miserable place overrun by scabber weed, where the sun shines for only a few days each year. With the inexplicable death of his older brother, David, Thomas becomes heir to Creeper & Sons, the family’s funeral business, and his place as a mortician’s apprentice seems set. Thomas, however, dreams of a different kind of life (as a code-cracking spy) in a different kind of place (anywhere but Gloomsbury!). When a body arrives on the doorstep of Creeper & Sons Funeral Home with signs of foul play, Thomas and his smart-as-a-whip sidekick, Jeni Myers, is thrust into the middle of a terrifying mystery, one which will reveal the link between his family and the dark secret of his hometown. Joining forces with the motley crew of the Conch Whistle, a high-tech submarine that hides in offshore waters, Thomas and Jeni must rely upon their wits (and a few magical devices!) to defeat a powerful and horrifying foe.
In praise of Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret
“A delightful steampunk, spy tale, ghost story, mystery mash-up with genuinely spooky moments. Through wonderfully gloomy illustrations and a plot that twists and turns like fog, J.R. Potter keeps the reader engaged and guessing. Expect just the right amount of the macabre, a host of fun, eccentric characters, and a gangly thirteen-year-old mortician’s assistant who discovers he’s a swashbuckler at heart.”
-Rebecca Baum, author of Lifelike Creatures
“Plunge into Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret if you’re looking to be charmed and delighted. In this captivating fantasy, J.R. Potter provides an accelerating plot, filled with characters either creepy or lovable, or sometimes both! They inhabit a fully rendered setting, the macabre town of Gloomsbury, Mass, which you won’t find on any map…except that of the Imagination! Potter has fashioned a world with its own original elements, including the Knutson Ocular-Occult Goggles (a wondrous ghost-detecting artifact); the Narwhall Needle (a deep-sea relic of uncanny power); a one-armed ghost named Silvie; and a curious personage named Mouth who “embodies” his name in more ways than one. Follow the adventures of Thomas and his friend Jeni through this dark, delicious tale, and just hope the author will be kind enough to give us a sequel.”
– Gary Pedler, author of Amy McDougall, Master Matchmaker and Couchsurfing: the Musical
“A gothic novel for kids! With names, places and characters right out of Dickens! For fans of Harry Potter, run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and buy Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret. This certain Potter raises the stakes of fantasy in this sprawling tale. With thudding heart and trembling fingers, you will be unable to put this spooky treasure down, believe me! An added pleasure are the shadowy, mysterious, magnificent illustrations, penned by the author himself. A ghoulish treat. Enjoy!”
-Janet Graber, author of numerous children’s tales including Malcom Mouse, Explorer and The Secret Chamber of Gwendoline Riston