Solo by William Boyd

Come in, 007. No, don’t sit down. We’d like you to go to Zanzarim, a country in Africa which is probably standing in for Nigeria. As you know, it’s 1969 and there’s a civil war on. Rather like the Biafran war in fact. Anyway, we want you to find the rebels and stop them being so…

Witchcraft by Nigel Williams

So many good stories start with the discovery of a dusty tome in a library or second-hand bookshop somewhere – The End of Mr Y, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and so on – that it is no surprise when Jamie Matheson happens upon a manuscript in the British Library. Written by Ezekiel Oliphant, a 17th century…

Zoo Quest For A Dragon by David Attenborough

Growing up, I loved Willard Price’s ‘Adventure’ series (Safari Adventure, South Sea Adventure, Underwater Adventure, etc.) about the schoolboy zoologists Hal and Roger Hunt, who travel the world with minimal parental involvement, zero interest from social services and no health and safety assessment, capturing animals and generally being intrepid. David Attenborough’s real-life version, 1957’s Zoo Quest For A Dragon, doesn’t really…