It begins with the arrival not of a detective, but of disaster: Badfort is for sale, but when Uncle decides to buy it, demolish it, and build a pleasantly appointed park on the site, he is forestalled. Beaver Hateman has sold it cheaply to someone on the condition that he, Hateman, is allowed to stay on as a paying guest. Forgetting that the man who has bought Badfort is certain to regret the "bargain", Uncle tries to console himself by continuing his never-ending exploration of Homeward.
He soon discovers the mysterious Crack House - lair of a vicious and horribly squawking creature, half-bat, half-bird, called Batty - where there are rumours of buried treasure. Uncle is in need of a detective . . .
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About the Author
J. P. Martin (Author)
J.P.Martin was born in Scarborough in 1879. He became a Methodist minister in 1902 and served as a missionary in South Africa and as an army chaplain in Palestine in 1918 at the time when Allenby and T.E. Lawrence overwhelmed the Turks. J.P.Martin and his wife Nancy moved circuits every three years and worked among miners and slum dwellers, as well as among the comfortably off.
He started telling the Uncle stories before the First World War and in 1934 the writers Stella Martin and R.N Currey urged him to write them down; it took thirty years before they got them accepted by Jonathan Cape in the satire rich sixties. Reviewers welcomed each of the six books as they were published between 1964 and 1973 with comparisons to Edward Lear and Alice. The Observer described him as 'a master in the great English nonsense tradition.'
J.P.Martin was 84 when Uncle was published and he charmed everyone on radio and television. He was able to enjoy his late success before he died two years later in 1966.
Quentin Blake (Author)
Quentin Blake has been drawing ever since he can remember. He taught illustration for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, of which he is an honorary professor. He has won many prizes, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and in 1999 he was appointed the first Children’s Laureate. In the 2013 New Year’s Honours List he was knighted for services to illustration.