is a series of children's novels by Geoffrey McSkimming starring the titular Captain Ersatz
and Affectionate Parody
of Indiana Jones
. The Adventurer Archaeologist
travels with Doris the Macaw
, a bird with a gift for ancient languages
and a fondness for Shakespeare
, and Brenda the Wonder Camel
around the world to locations such as Greece, Peru, Turkey and Crete, although they were based in Egypt.
The series contained roughly 20 books published between 1991 and 2007, and established a cast of many recurring characters, including Jim's "good friend"
Jocelyn Osgood, who received a few books of her own; Gerald Perry Esquire, Jim's financier and founding member of the Old Relics Society
, and the villainous Captain Neptune Flannelbottom Bone
The books, in order:
- Cairo Jim on the Trail to ChaCha Muchos
- Cairo Jim and Doris in Search of Martenarten
- Jocelyn Osgood- After the Puce Empress
- Cairo Jim and the Sunken Sarcophagus of Sekheret
- Jocelyn Osgood and the Xylophones above Zarundi
- Cairo Jim and the Alabastron of the Forgotten Gods
- Cairo Jim and the Quest for the Quetzal Queen
- Jocelyn Osgood in Ascent into Asgard
- Cairo Jim and the Secret Sepulchre of the Sphinx
- Cairo Jim Amidst the Petticoats of Artemis
- Cairo Jim and the Lagoon of Tidal Magnificence
- Cairo Jim and the Tyrannical Bauble of Tiberius
- Cairo Jim and the Chaos from Crete
- Cairo Jim and the Rorting of Ramses' Regalia
- Cairo Jim and Jocelyn Osgood in Bedlam from Bollywood
- Cairo Jim and the Sumptuous Stash of Silenus
- Cairo Jim and the Crossroads of Orpheus
- Cairo Jim and the Astragals of Angkor
Tropes in this series include:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The titles of about half the books.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Indiana Jones style.
- All Myths Are True: Let's see, we've got Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Indian, and that's just for starters.
- Always Identical Twins: Kevin and Abdullah.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Joan in Ascent into Asgard.
- Bone and Jim In the ending to the final book. Maybe.
- Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The Old Relics Society isn't exactly this, as it's not a secret, but it serves more or less the same purpose.
- Cool Shades: Jim's signature sun-spectacles.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Bone's middle name is Flannelbottom. The trope is somewhat averted in that no one ever comments on this.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: Bone. Let's see, there's the fezzes, the waistcoats and the plus-fours, all in horribly garish and clashing colours.
- Fat Bastard: Again, Bone. He doesn't seem to eat a lot, he's just… large.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The ending to Bedlam from Bollywood.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Kelvin and Abdullah.
- Intellectual Animal: Brenda knows large portions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- Metaphorgotten: Every other sentence Mrs Amun-Ra says.
- Motive Decay: Bone's plans vary from world domination to get rich quick schemes to petty revenge against Jim.
- Nearly Normal Animal: Brenda.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Brenda tends to fall into this. Somewhat justified as she's a camel and wouldn't be able to say what powers she has. And any power that's used once will almost definitely come up again.
- Nice Hat: Jim's signature pith helmet.
- Noodle Incident: Anything mentioned in one of Gerald Perry Esquire's RamblingOldManMonologues.
- Omniglot: Doris discovers a skill for ancient languages. Somewhat justified when you consider that she's a Talking Animal who learnt English quite quickly.
- Overly-Long Gag: X looked at Y. Y looked at Z. Z looked at X. X looked at Z. Continue until you've exhausted every possible combination of characters.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Some of the disguises Bone uses, especially when you take into account his size and taste in fashion.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Doris is a talking macaw.
- Also, Desdemona, Bone's raven.
- Ravens and Crows: Bone has the raven Desdemona as Doris' Evil Counterpart. She's filthy and flea ridden, and can't count.
- Rambling Old Man Monologue: Members of the Old Relics Society tend to do this.
- Rival Turned Evil: Before Bone turned evil, he used to be in Jim's archeology class.
- Running Gags: With Kevin and Abdullah, there's the typical identical twin gag of characters confusing the two.
- Also, them responding to sayings with 'Don't bring my <relative> <name that was just mentioned> into this!'
- Jim's poetry being terrible.
- Sickly Neurotic Geek: Pyrella Finch may not be a geek, but she's allergic to practically everything. Including the sun.
- Self-Deprecation: Some of the reviews the books cite are (apparently) written by Captain Bone, and say things like 'This is a terrible book. Don't read it.'
- Spell My Name with an S: Kevin or Kelvin?
- Supreme Chef: Mrs Amun-Ra's scones are to die for.
- Trademark Favourite Food: Doris likes snails. Brenda eats worms. Desdemona likes seaweed.
- Two Guys and a Girl: A large part of Bone's motivation, especially in the second book, is his interest in Jocelyn.
- Woman in White: Photographer Pyrella Finch always wears white, in the 'just fashion' version of the trope.