A lost diary. A spinning pocketwatch. A gentleman wielding a deadly walking cane. And a boy who's about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
When Julius Higgins isn't running from Crimper McCready and his gang of bullies he's working in his grandfather's bookshop in Ironmonger Lane.
Until Jack Springheel, a mysterious clock collector, turns up looking for the fabled diary of John Harrison, the greatest watchmaker of all time.
Before he knows it, Julius becomes a thief and a runaway and makes a deal with Springheel that he will live to regret. And all before he finds out that Harrison's diary is really an instruction manual for making a time machine.
Tim Hehir is an author of short stories and plays. His short story ‘God Bless Us One and All’ was published by Structo magazine (UK) and his play Pride and Prejudice in 10 Minutes Flat has been performed in various countries and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Hehir is based in Melbourne. Julius and the Watchmaker is his first novel.
'An exciting romp through Time, full of wonderful characters and sinister possibilities.' Lian Tanner author of The Museum Thieves
'The clever explanation of time travel with its endless possibilities offers a wildly unpredictable ride and, presumably, more adventures are afoot.' Sun Herald
When readers meet Julius Caesar Higgins, a 14-year-old boy living in Victorian London, he's on the run from bully Crimper McCready and frustrated by his inability to stand up for himself. Julius's grandfather, who owns an antiquarian bookstore, has two clients interested in the same journal by a famous watchmaker, and Julius gives the book to one of the men, Springheel, in exchange for temporary lodging and respite from his tormentors. Yet the journal holds the key for Springheel to open a vortex in time, unleashing dangerous forces from "parallel vibration fields" into Victorian London. The other interested book buyer, the Professor, enlists Julius to try and stop Springheel by using a magic watch to pass through the vortex and close the portal. First-time novelist Hehir skillfully develops a shadowy London backdrop, with clear allusions to Dickens, while drawing steampunk elements into the story. Readers may be as confused as Julius is over the machinations behind the time travel, but should still find it easy to get swept up in his rapid-fire adventures. Ages 11 13.