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Justin Thyme (Tartan of Thyme) [Hardcover]

Panama Oxridge
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2006 Tartan of Thyme
Justin Thyme is a self-made billionaire living in a castle overlooking Loch Ness. The day he turns thirteen, he receives an anonymous gift: a fabulous watch with a puzzling message hidden on it. When he tells his father of his plans to build a time machine, the Laird of Thyme reveals tantalising fragments of past espionage and warns his son of a ruthless enemy keeping him under constant surveillance. At first, Justin fails to take Sir Willoughby seriously, but when a stranger arrives claiming to be his long-lost grandfather, Justin is wary – especially after his beloved Nanny insists the old man is an impostor.

Justin’s TV celebrity mother departs on a Congo expedition with her eccentric film crew and Eliza, a computer-literate gorilla. Whilst returning, Lady Henny is abducted, and clues prove that the kidnapper has inside information; someone in Thyme Castle must be a spy – or possibly Sir Willoughby’s old enemy in disguise. Everyone is under suspicion: Justin’s nervy tutor; their snooping housekeeper; the theatrical gardener; an ex-royal butler; and Mrs Kof, their freakishly strong cook.

Suddenly, the race against time is on. Can Justin convert his vintage motorbike into a time machine, rescue his mum and discover the identity of their resident spy in less than a week ... or will the dreaded Thyme Curse claim another life?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Interrobang; First Edition edition (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955357004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955357008
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,616,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A whodunit mystery guaranteed to puzzle even Scotland Yard. It's one in a googolplex!" --Amanda Oxgripe, Drumnadrochit Thymes

This is a terrific, totally original story which will keep you turning the pages right to the end. review

I absolutely loved Justin Thyme! review

This book is simply perfect. review --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

The first book in the Tartan of Thyme series, following the adventures of teenage, self-made billionaire Justin Thyme, as he struggles against mysterious forces to keep his family together and stop the Curse of Thyme from striking again. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything is Connected to Everything Else! 5 Sep 2006
I've been looking forward to getting this book, ever since I first found out about it when I stumbled upon the Justin Thyme website. My copy arrived in the last week of the school hols - and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I read the story itself in a couple of sittings. The writing style is ideally suited to its target audience (I've just started reading it to my new class) - it's fun, easy to read and, although it uses a broad vocabulary, has a sort of mini-dictionary at the back simply defining the more complex words in the text. (And I have to admit I even learnt a few new words myself!)

The plot is a complex whodunit mystery (that would intrigue most adult readers), with an array of eccentric suspects, subtle clues and deceptive red herrings ... and the 'evidence' is all illustrated, which makes you feel like you're actually taking part in an investigation yourself.

But what makes this book really stand out for me, is that once you've read it, it's far, FAR from over. About half way through I noticed that there's a sort of puzzle "element" (excuse the pun ... you'll understand if you've read it), and I'm now working my way through it a second time with both eyes wide open. WOW! As the story says "Everything REALLY is connected to everything else!" I've realised that there are trails of "hidden" clues woven in amongst the standard ones. The few things I've found so far are amazing and add another dimension to the story! Number or letter sequences, times, dates, lists, codes ... I suspect nothing is there without a solid reason - although, in many cases I'm still figuring it out and know I'm probably missing stuff.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read- this book has the wow factor! 28 Oct 2006
This is a terrific, totally original story which will keep you turning the pages right to the end. It is outstanding not only for the sheer inventiveness of the plot but also the fantastic quality of the writing which never flags and which is in turn exciting, dramatic and also hilarious. The cast includes a veritable circus of brilliantly drawn characters. Eliza the computer literate gorilla who spends hours on the Internet chatting up unsuspecting boys; the incredibly funny Mrs Kof whose cooking skills are matched only by her ability to mangle the English language, and Robyn- Justin's rebellious teenage sister -were my own particular favourites but the wonderful thing about this book is that it is crammed full of all kinds of surprises and there will be something in it to delight readers of all ages. You must read this - but try not to get so caught up in the excitement of the mystery that you miss the amazing map of the castle or the intriguing ambigram on the front cover. Oh and when you've finished the book don't forget to log onto the extraordinary website- it is an unforgettable and addictive experience in itself. Ten out of ten for originality and sheer wow factor! Cant wait for the second book in the series.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Reader, get this book! 4 Dec 2006
First in the promised four-book series Tartan of Thyme, Justin Thyme is full of mystery, intrigue, anagrams, puzzles, puns, and just plain fun. Set in a wonderful castle on Loch Ness (complete with the occasional sighting of Nessie), it explores the hero Justin's adventures beginning with the gift of a beautiful, personalized ambigram wristwatch for his 13th birthday--from an as-yet unknown beneficiary. The watch itself holds a number of clues to Justin's ensuing exploration of time travel, on which his family's very existence seems to depend. Aimed at younger readers, the engaging storyline, wonderful cast of characters--from the marvelous laptop-communicating Eliza the Gorilla to the hysterical English-mangling Mrs. Kof--and satisfyingly challenging science will doubtless attract readers of all ages who enjoy a good fantasy whodunit. (Particularly fun are the endless puns on the Thyme name via the various given names of family members: Willoughby Thyme, Henny Thyme, Robin Thyme, Albion Thyme--not to mention Justin himself!) Everyone will enjoy the many puzzles providing clues as to the identity of a spy in Thyme Castle (and other plot points), but even without these the story carries one right along through thrills and funny mishaps to a gratifying ending--that leaves you eager for the next installment. Add to all this the mystery of who the author Panama Oxridge really is, and the clues to this poser salted throughout the wonderful website for the series, and we truly have a winner of a tale. Sure to join the Hogwart's clan and the unfortunate Boudelaire orphans in gaining a loyal and widespread following, now is your chance to get on the Tartan of Thyme elevator on the ground floor. Enjoy!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel conundrums at their best 17 Sep 2006
By shartie
This is a page turner! But better still you get to the end and immediately HAVE to dive back in and check and double check the cryptic clues, trails and paradoxes littered throughout. THEN you just can't wait for book 2 of the promised trilogy!

Aimed at a chilren's market I could see this getting quite a 'cult' following from a much wider range of ages, especially considering the brilliant interactive website linked to it.

Well written, easy to read, humorous, inticate, and yet also scientifically well informed, it is in a class of its own.

You HAVE to read it!

A reader in Bucks, UK.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pun as you mean to go on
A great book on every level. Characters which are generic (in the nicest possible way) in an attractive setting - the Scottish Castle on the loch. Read more
Published 15 months ago by F. F. Ross
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in the main - fades away with follow on in mind
I dearly wish I could have given this five stars, as many, many have done on here, but I just can't without being less than totally honest. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. J. M. Haines
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my 10-year-old son
This book has finally got my son reading independently. It was bought for his 9th birthday and languished on his bookshelf (with all the other unread books) for a year, but once he... Read more
Published on 3 July 2012 by V. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Loops and forks of a tale
My wife picked this book up from a lovely little book shop in Morton on the Marsh, she loved it, knowing I had read the Harry Potters and loved them, although this is a very... Read more
Published on 28 April 2012 by J. S. Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Pseudonyms, wormholes and time machines!
Justin Thyme (what a fantastic name!) is a multimillionaire at just 13 years of age. Not bad going at all. Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2011 by BDMist
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure genius!
This is a children's book but very well-written with amusing characters, plus plenty of twists and turns. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by longhairedsally
5.0 out of 5 stars More codes than 'Da Vinci'
This book is a showcase for the authors talent even before you open the first page for the jacket design, with it's `read it any way you like' title, is also a product of his... Read more
Published on 2 Oct 2010 by Algernon Flowers
5.0 out of 5 stars Justin Time for Justin Thyme
In a way, the ambigram of `Justin Thyme' sets a keynote for the whole book; the atmosphere of intrigue & mystery never falters, creating the novel as what has become known as a... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2010 by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Just in Time for Justin Thyme
In a way, the ambigram of `Justin Thyme' sets a keynote for the whole book; the atmosphere of intrigue & mystery never falters, creating the novel as what has become known as a... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2010 by James
5.0 out of 5 stars MI5 eat your heart out
One of my favourite authors, Tad Williams, has, in the front of his marvellous 'The Dragonbone Chair', the warning that, simply translated from the Trollish means 'avoid... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2007 by Algernon Flowers
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