Children's Fiction




Farrell, Nial. (1989). Tales of Mystery. Hong Kong: Longman.

This book contains three separate stories of mystery and suspense set in Hong Kong.

“The Invisible Coat”

Lam Ting Ting is a girl who lives in Hong Kong.  Her mother works in a clothing factory and her father is an engineer.  Ting Ting’s father brings some optic fibres home from work, and her mother knits the fibres together and makes an invisible coat, a pair of gloves and a hood.  The next day while Ting Ting is at home playing with the coat, her father calls.  He asks Ting Ting to bring the coat to him. Ting Ting finds his father in Mr Tsui’s office, but Mr Tsui and her father do not know that Ting Ting is in the room because she is invisible.  Mr Tsui  points a gun at her father and demands  the invisible coat so that he can commit robbery using it. 

Ting Ting  knocks on the door, and as Mr Tsui opens the door, she pushes him out of the office  and locks it.  Mr Tsui shoots at the door, but the bullet bounces off the lock and kills him.  Mr Lam decides not to tell anyone about the coat because he realizes that it is dangerous if bad people get hold of it.  Ting Ting wears the coat on her way home, and scares two older boys from her school who are smoking.  They swear never to smoke again.

“Werewolf Island”

Police Officer Mak and Detective Ip are investigating the murder of Wong Wai Man on Cheung Chau.  Mak’s aunt who lives on Cheung Chau thinks the werewolf on Siu A Chau killed him.  In Wong’s village on Lantau Island, the policemen speak to his  wife.  Mak sees a photograph of three people, one of whom looks strange because he has a big black beard.  He is Gou Cheong Yin, Mrs Wong’s brother “Little Hairy.”  Mrs Wong tells Mak that he is dead.  Later Mak, finds out that Mrs Wong’s had lied and that the brother is not dead; he just went away because he is unhappy about his beard. 

Mak returns to Cheung Chau where Mr. Tan, a shopkeeper, tells him that Wong has always bought food from him, and that he used to leave Cheung Chau for Siu A Chau on a blue boat. But Siu A Chau is thought to be an uninhabited haunted island. Mak arrives on the island after dark.  He finds another red boat alongside Wong’s blue boat, and he sees two men sitting beside a fire in front of a house. One man has a gun. When Mak hears the men talking, he knows one of them is frightened of ghosts. The two men row out to sea to meet a ship and Mak suspects they are drug smugglers.  Suddenly Mak sees a horrible hairy face, and he thinks a werewolf is attacking him but then realizes it is Guo, Mrs Wong’s brother.  Guo, ashamed of his face, hides on the island.  Mak tells Gou that he is not a werewolf and that he must see a doctor.  Gou tells Mak he saw the two men kill Wong and wants to help Mak to catch them.  The two men return with the drugs from the ship and  Mak and Gou howl like wolves frightening the men,  allowing Mak to catch them easily.  The doctors cure Gou but Mak’s aunt and the two murderers still believe there is a werewolf on Siu A Chau.

“The Robot Mouse”

Henry, a boy of about fourteen or fifteen years old, comes home from school one day and finds a robot mouse, RM, who can talk.  RM has a small computer inside, and has the intelligence of both a man and a computer.  He wants Henry to help him to stop Professor Tam, a computer expert and a doctor, from poisoning world leaders to gain world dominance.  RM and Henry go to an old building in Mong Kok and Henry is caught and tied up by two men inside the building, while RM hides inside his pocket.  RM cuts the rope around Henry with his sharp teeth.  In the meantime, Professor Tam comes back with another robot RHB98 (Robot Human Being).  The robot human beings are dead bodies connected to a computer. Henry escapes his bonds,  and he and RM climb onto the roof and hide.  Professor Tam discovers that Henry is hiding on the roof, and orders RHB98 to kill him.  But RM bites the wire going into RHB98’s ear, and it explodes.  Professor Tam is hit by the falling robot and they fall over the side of the building. RM bids farewell to Henry because he is going to stop other robots around the world from stealing money and killing people. (FC)


All entries and data copyright © The Hong Kong English Literature Database