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Mark Anchovy 2: War and Pizza

Mark Anchovy 2: War and Pizza

William Goldsmith
Piccadilly Press
ISBN: 9781848129276

Colin Kingsley, aka Mark Anchovy, is now a fully fledged detective in the Golden Spatula League. In Mark's second madcap adventure story, we follow him to Russia where, under the cover of a school exchange visit, he has to liaise with a 108-year-old ex-detective, Swirly Ben, to locate the fantastic Brillerge egg cups, which have been missing for over a century.

The book opens at a breakneck pace and the action rarely slows down. Chased by evil jewel thief Heidi Hyde High, her dog, Glitterpuff, and her henchman Unkle Pudders, Mark races around the streets and sights of Moscow, solving Swirly Ben's riddles to find the hidden treasures.

We are reintroduced to most of the major characters from book one; Princess Skewer, now in charge of the Golden Spatula League, Camillo the brilliant inventor, and Yelena and Yaconda, who can imitate any voice, all play their part in helping Mark Anchovy with his latest mission. Justin, one of the villains of book one, also reappears, working with the enemy yet again in an attempt to stop Mark from achieving his goal.

This is another action-packed story; the reader is never allowed to be bored as Mark races from one crisis to another. I loved the section in which Mark escapes from an aeroplane by using a 'Hoverbog' - a flying toilet! - and he also makes good use of many of Camillo's other inventions, such as glue gun cufflinks, edible notebooks, and a Russian hat containing an oxygen mask! The author writes in a thoroughly entertaining style, adding a good dash of humour to the story, and the bold cartoon style illustrations (again provided by the author) perfectly complement the flow of the book.

In a clever twist, we are introduced to Mark Anchovy's sister, Alicia, who appeared only briefly in book one. She has discovered her brother's alter ego, and is blackmailing him to keep his secret from their parents. However, she turns out to be a force to be reckoned with and, in a thrilling conclusion to the story, saves the day and is recruited into the GSL herself. I look forward to seeing what part she plays in Mark's next adventure.

All in all, another highly entertaining and well-written book, with a great mix of characters, which will appeal to boys and girls alike.

272 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, School Librarian


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