Hear the sound of cash registers pinging away merrily throughout the land as Gangsta Granny Strikes Again by David Walliams hits bookshop shelves in time for Christmas. A sequel to the much-loved Gangsta Granny, it picks up Ben’s story a year after the death of his beloved gran, who fans will recall had been leading an extraordinary double life as The Black Cat international jewel thief. For Ben, life without her is decidedly sedate, until some world-famous treasures go missing and the modus operandi seems startlingly familiar. Has The Black Cat used up her nine lives after all?
A series of high-profile robberies have taken place ( the theft of Tutankhamun’s golden mask, the football World Cup Trophy, the Queen’s waxwork from Madame Tussaud’s for Heaven’s sake!) Only Granny could be so breathtakingly audacious, and yet she’s deceased.
Ben isn’t the only person to recognise the method. Mr Parker, head of the local Neighbourhood Watch group is harbouring suspicions, along with a big fat grudge, having failed to nab the pair of them during Granny’s final mission, an attempt to steal the Crown Jewels. With Parker determined to unveil Ben as a thieving scoundrel, the mystified boy launches into an investigation, which descends, in true Walliams style, into preposterous chaos.
Another London-based adventure from the nations’ favourite kids author, this one takes the reader swimming into the Thames via a sewage pipe, racing through the Royal Albert Hall while dressed as the iceberg that hit the Titanic, and sharing a late-night kebab with the Queen, who is somewhat clumsy with the chilli sauce.
With a supporting cast that includes a mobility scooter named Millicent, and a real black cat, who wafts mysteriously in and out of key moments in the haphazard plot, this comic novel is lots of fun, unpredictable, and utterly daft. Another Walliams winner.
Gangsta Granny Strikes Again by David Walliams is published by Harper Collin’s Children’s Books, 368 pages.