Sincere thanks to Titan Books in general and Cath Trechman in particular for letting me write this book. If it gives a reader half the pleasure it gave the writer... then I will have been ever so self-indulgent.
As always, it couldn’t have been written without the help and support of my splendid family. Princess Loobrins read it and said she loved it while pointing me straight where needed. Old Ma Hudson thought it was the best thing I’ve ever written (which says more about her than me). Plucky pugilists and tearaways, Sharp Right Seph and Dunkin’ Danny of the Arches asked how it was going when they really didn’t have to. The Calle Gralla Irregulars: Smithers, Mango, Brins, Clive Owens, Ramsey, Martha, Bill, Skylark, Sheamus, Benjamin Franklin, Silent Singer, Lebowski, Udders and Nixie were no help at all.
Lastly, thanks to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for being a giant with shoulders broad enough for me to stand on.