Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Barnaby Grimes

Go To

Barnaby Grimes is a series of children's books by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, which takes place in a fictional city modelled on Georgian\Victorian era London. Barnaby Grimes is the hero of the stories, and works as a 'Tic-tock Lad', a courier specialising in high-speed errands and deliveries. Barnaby is one of the best at the job, due to his expertise in 'highstacking', which involves highly dangerous rooftop acrobatics as a means of travelling the city.

The series has a historical flavour, using period fashions and slang, but also involves a variety of supernatural elements, and can be gory at times. Barnaby acts as the stories' narrator, giving accounts of some of his more fascinating cases, while referring to others taking place either in the past or in between the events of each case, indicating that he has an extremely busy and exciting life.

As well as appealing stories, the Barnaby Grimes books also incorporate illustrations by illustrator Chriss Riddell, which fit into the tone of the series and form a significant part of the books' charm.

The books in the series include:

  • Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf
  • Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull
  • Barnaby Grimes: Legion of the Dead
  • Barnaby Grimes: Phantom Of Blood Alley

This series contains examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Pinkerton-Barnes, a zoologist who enjoys coming up with odd theories and having them disproven.
  • Badass Bookworm: Barnaby is intelligent and spends his spare time at "Underhill's Library for Scholars of the Arcane", reading through old journals. He also takes on werewolves and is rather lethal with a sword-cane.
  • This Was His True Form: it is noted in Curse of the Night Wolf that Werewolves usually revert to normal when killed Westphale kills them using a poison that prevents this, allowing him to skin them for fur coats
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Westphale in the first book was turning his patients into werewolves in order to skin them for fur coats. He himself was revealed in the end to be an albino werewolf, and it is strongly implied Barnaby had him turned into a coat