Justin Davies

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • Journey to Haarville -- a little-known off-grid island town that is notoriously difficult to get to, where rolling haar (mist) and fishy pongs hide a powerful secret
  • Orphan Manx Fearty risks losing his family's perpetual device shop when some sinister strangers try to seize control
  • Aided by a vibrant cast of characters -- including drag-queen guardian Father G, steadfast best pal Fantoosh, and Olu the oystercatcher -- Manx embarks on a journey to unearth a long-protected magical secret in order to save the town of Haarville itself
  • From Justin Davies, the award-winning author of Help! I Smell a Monster and Whoa! I Spy a Werewolf
  • Darkly funny, quirky and mysterious, this page-turning middle-grade adventure is perfect for fans of Malamander and A Series of Unfortunate Events

Manx Fearty is an orphan from Haarville -- a foggy island town with a magical secret -- on a bizarre quest with his friends to solve a murky mystery and save their hometown. A darkly comic adventure, full of heart, from award-winner Justin Davies.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 10 to 14 years
296 pages
Publication date:
23 Feb 2023


Welcome to Haarville -- if you've arrived, you've survived. Off the grid and not on the maps, it's a place shrouded in fog and steeped in pungent pongs. Everything here smells fishy, especially the town's suspicious new arrivals.

Twelve-year-old Manx Fearty is an orphan (his family has a terrible habit of dying, terribly), and now he's about to lose their perpetual device shop to sinister newcomers claiming to be long-lost relatives. As he sets out to prove them wrong, Manx finds himself on the trail of a murky, mist-muddled mystery -- and it's one he needs to solve fast, otherwise Haarville is doomed.

With the help of his fiercely protective drag-queen guardian Father G (aka the fabulous Gloria in Excelsis), loyal best friend Fantoosh, and oystercatcher-with-attitude Olu, Manx wades through secrets, schemes and some stomach-churning seafood. Can he save both his family's legacy and his town?

Darkly comic but full of heart, this quirky middle-grade mystery adventure from Justin Davies, award-winning author of Help! I Smell a Monster and Whoa! I Spy a Werewolf (Orchard Books), is perfect for fans of Malamander and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Table of Contents

1. Fearty's Perpetuals
2. Olu Pays a Visit
3. The Customer Isn't Always Right
4. Tittle-tattle
5. Up, Periscope!
6. Marching Orders
7. Room to Let
8. Black Cats and Broomsticks
9. Gushet House
10. Three's a Crowd
11. Ice Warning!
12. Pollock Row
13. A Light Tower Alight
14. The Accused
15. Whoever Heard of the Haarville Hoard?
16. The Storyteller of Crab Gulley
17. Repelled and Expelled
18. The Edge of the Ledge
19. Smash and Grab
20. Sail Away
21. When Snoozing Means Losing
22. Jailhouse Rot
23. Baggit & Son's
24. Rhymes of the Ancient Mariners
25. Round and Round the Merry-go-round!
26. All Aboard!
27. Anchors Away!
28. Hatched
29. Raft Race
30. The Ninth Wave
31. Clam Rock
32. An Eye for an Eye

About the Author


'A fantastically fishy adventure, packed to the gills with humour and heart. A boat-load of thrills, fun and friendship.'
-- Maria Kuzniar, author of The Ship of Shadows series

'A wonderfully imagined, ridiculously unique story that I raced through in a day. The inhabitants of Haarville and their secrets will hook you in and leave you wanting more. Justin Davies deserves first plaice for crreating a book every child, and adult, will love.'
-- Clare Povey, author of The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre

'Utterly magical and instantly transporting. You'll want to visit Haarville again and again.'
-- Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of These Broken Stars

'The plot is lively with high stakes and misadventure. Intermittent illustrations pair well with the quirky sense of humour. An eccentric and fantastical mystery.'
-- Kirkus Reviews

'The pluckiest of orphans, a long-leather-coat-wearing villainous uncle, stalwart friends and a hint of magic - all set in a dank gloomy town that steals the show. Innovative, characterful writing with a dark humour that entertains from start to finish.'
-- Peters, Books of the Week

'Sure to delight and enrapture kids aged nine and over across the nation.'
-- Dunfermline Press

'A magical story where Manx fights increasingly difficult challenges to uncover the truth and save Haarville.'
-- YA Books Central

'It's a unique and quirky blend of imagination and setting that will set you off on a mesmerising expedition that will have you glued to the pages. This has to be my favourite read so far this year. […] This brilliant well-written story transports you to a murky seaside town that is the life and soul of the party. The characters are colourful and heartwarming whilst the villains make it an edgy race to uncover secrets to save the family's legacy and Haarville from sinister newcomers.'
-- Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Justin Davies spent years flying all over the world as cabin crew before hanging up his wings to focus on writing for children. When he isn’t writing, Justin works at his local primary school, where he absolutely, never, ever tries out his story ideas on pupils. His first book, Help! I Smell a Monster, won the Fantastic Book Awards in 2021. He is also the author of Whoa! I Spy a Werewolf. Justin lives with his husband and Sally, the greyhound rescue, in Fife, Scotland.

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