The Time-Travelling Cat and the Great Victorian Stink
Sixth adventure about Topher and his time-travelling cat, Ka, which takes them back to the Victorian London of 1858. This book should be as successful as the rest of the series, as it uses the same ingredients of adventure, historical fact, animals and fast action. Topher lives in present-day London, but when Ka turns into a stone statue he knows that she has gone travelling; sometimes an owl is sent to carry him to her. In this story, Topher succumbs to a mystery illness and finds himself in hospital, where the owl finds him. He is transported back to Victorian London, where he becomes a boy just escaped from the workhouse, having lost his parents to the deadly disease cholera. Ka has become one of Signor Cappelli’s cruelly treated performing cats. Topher meets her escaping under the dress of the wife of Joseph Bazalgette, famous for building London’s sewers. Mr Bazalgette offers him a job but shortly after this Topher is captured by Snoop, fellow workhouse inmate now working for a gang of underworld thieves. Just like Oliver in Oliver Twist, Topher is forced to become a pickpocket to earn his keep. The details of London life are very accurate and the important, but little known, story of Joseph Bazalgette’s engineering achievements are revealed. The year 1858 was the year of the Great Victorian stink, when London’s sewage was so out-of-control that even Queen Victoria was affected. Highly entertaining read for 8-12 year olds.