Inside All Graded Readers (98)
Everybody took photos of Prince William when he first arrived at the University of St Andrews. Crowds of photographers came to the little Scottish town next to the sea and took pictures of this new student the nineteen-year-old grandson of the Queen of England.
But nobody photographed Kate Middleton on her first day at the university. She moved in quietly, ready to begin her studies in art history. She was just an ordinary student with an ordinary future in front of her. Or was she?
Shirley Homes, private investigator. Like Sherlock Holmes a hundred years ago, she lives in London, enjoys working on difficult cases, and has some helpful friends. She understands people, is a good listener, and of course, she is clever with computers. In today's world that is important, because a lot of crime is cyber crime. In this second Shirley Homes detective story, Shirley must catch a cyber thief. But how? You can't see a cyber thief, you can't hear a cyber thief. Only the computer knows, and the computer isn't talking . . .
A woman finds a man on a beach. He is very cold, his clothes are wet, and he cannot speak. The woman phones for help, and an ambulance comes and takes the man to hospital. In hospital they ask the man questions, but he does not answer. He still cannot speak - or does not want to speak.
Who is he, this strange man from the sea? What is his name? Where did he come from? And why do they call him the Piano Man?
In Sweden, nobody wants a troll to come into their garden, but how do you stop them? On a lonely road at night in Oman, Abdul's car breaks down and he takes a ride with a stranger, but perhaps it is safer to walk. In England some young people play a scary game, and in Asia, a soldier returns home - at last.
Every country in the world has stories about ghosts and spirits and monsters of one kind or another. Some people believe in ghosts, and some don't - but everyone enjoys a good ghost story.
'It's a good place for gold,' said people in the 1840s, and they came from all over the world. 'It's a good place for a prison,' said the US government in the 1920s, and they put Al Capone there on the island of Alcatraz. 'It's a good place for love,' said the hippies in the 1960s, and they put flowers in their hair and came to Haight Ashbury. And San Francisco is still a good place - to take a hundred photographs, or see the Chinatown parade, or just to sit in a coffee shop and be in this interesting, different city . . .
Shirley Homes is a private investigator. She is clever with computers, and knows London like the back of her hand. She laughs when people say, 'Was Sherlock Holmes your grandfather?' Sherlock Holmes, of course, was not a real person, but, like Sherlock, Shirley has good eyes, and good ears. And she knows the right questions to ask.
And in the Lithuanian Case, the right questions are important. Because Shirley must find a missing person - Carrie Williams, aged fifteen. Where is she? Who is she with?
Enjoy the famous tale of Cinderella, who wanted to go to the prince's party.
Enjoy the sad tale of the mermaid who loved a prince.
Enjoy the tale of the princess who had to work as a goose girl.