Built from the hull of an old tea cutter, her front end had two glass observation domes either side of her forecastle, whilst her quarter deck had been elongated out the back giving her a rather impressive looking tail. Long and sleek and well maintained, there were no missing uprights in any of its railings, and if any of its boards had been replaced they had been sanded flat and stained to match as well.
Her balloon was long and sleek too. Pointed at both ends, it was attached to the hull by a neat web of rigging that would make a sailor’s mother proud, although that wasn’t the most impressive thing about her. That honour went to the two sets of sails that jutted out either side of the ship, long wing-like loops of wood and sheer canvas which, as much as her two glass ‘eyes’, told John that this was the ship they were looking for. “Well, Captain Tonbo said her ship was called the Dragonfly, so I’m guessing that’s the one we want.”
PIRATES RULE THE SKIES, ROBBING SHIPS AT WILL
They’re ruthless, efficient, and surprisingly well informed. There’s a rat in the Air Courier’s Guild, and to catch a rat you need a rat catcher. You need Dexter and Sinister.
Up in the air and out of their depth, John and Dexter will have to watch their backs. The Guild might be on their side but the captains sure aren’t. They have secrets to keep, secrets that could get a man killed, and it’s a long way down for those who stick their noses in where they don’t belong. And their cats too, if they’re not careful!
With airship battles over the English lakes, marauding vegan chefs, and the return of everyone’s favourite muscle for hire, Agnes Goodenough, The Dragonfly Delivery Company is a tale of heroism and high adventure, full of fun, laughs, and the sort of steam-powered shenanigans everyone can enjoy.
The Dragonfly Delivery Company follows on almost directly from the events of the first book, with John and Dexter hired by the Venerable Society of Airships Owners, Sky Captains, and Itinerant Washerwomen to find a group of sky pirates and get them to stop attacking their ships all of the time.
How John and Dexter are going to do this is a mystery, especially to John, and that’s not the only problem. The society expects two detectives on the job, not just one, but when one of them is a talking mechanical cat that no one knows about what are you meant to do? Enter Agnes Goodenough, everyone’s favourite muscle for hire. She’s only too happy to help… for the right price. The fact the she gets to ride aboard an airship the whole way is just a complete bonus!
The Dragonfly Delivery Company is a fun adventure story meant to delight and amuse. It’s what I like to think of as ‘YA accessible’ – It’s not written for a YA audience, but there’s nothing in there that a YA reader should have any trouble with.
You don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy The Dragonfly Delivery Company, although naturally I hope that you have, and you certainly don’t need to be steeped in steampunk lore to understand what’s going on. Regardless of the genre this is a book for everyone.
If you like fun stories with interesting and unusual characters who take the mick out of each other all the time then this is the book for you!