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Beetle Queen

Written by M.G. Leonard

Illustrated by Karl James Mountford

Part of the The Battle of the Beetles Series

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Beetle Queen Review

Adventure Stories Books of the Month Crime / Mystery Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks Stories about Animals

April 2017 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: irresistible creep-crawly adventure  |   M.G. Leonard’s book Beetle Boy was one of the liveliest, most original and enjoyable debuts of 2016, and the follow up will have fans waving their (figurative) feelers around in glee.  Lucretia Cutter is back, undoubtedly one of the creepiest (crawliest) villains in children’s fiction, and she’s up to no good again.  Ranged against her are our hero Darkus and his friends Virginia and Bertolt, together with their special allies – bugs, beetles and assorted insects. The plot scoots along like a spider on a tiled floor, the dialogue crackles and the cast of characters features an array of the weird and wonderful. Irresistible reading and it will make you see the insect world in a whole new light.  ~ Andrea Reece

Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher :  ' I couldn’t wait to read the sequel to M.G. Leonard’s incredible Beetle Boy, and Beetle Queen just might be even better. All our friends are back, battling a terrifying villainess, and we don’t even know which side Darkus’s dad is on! Never mind – the beetles will help again … but can they save the day? Read on, and I promise you will wiggle your antenna with joy!’


Beetle Queen Synopsis

Cruel beetle fashionista, Lucretia Cutter, is at large with her yellow ladybird spies. When Darkus, Virginia and Bertolt discover further evidence of her evil, they're determined to stop her. But the three friends are in trouble. Darkus' dad has forbidden them to investigate any further - and disgusting crooks Humphrey and Pickering are out of prison. Hope rests on Novak, Lucretia's daughter and a Hollywood actress, but the beetle diva is always one scuttle ahead ...

Beetle Queen Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review the first in this series, Beetle Boy. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Liam's Wilson, age 11 - 'A hilarious, thrilling adventure.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'A truly captivating story with great illustrations to add to the entire picture that it creates in your mind’s eye. Brilliant!'
  • Alexander Bisland, age 10 - 'This book intrigued me and I was always on the edge of my seat, determined to read on! I give it 10/10!'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 10 - 'Really unusual book with a mixture of insect and mystery.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'What a fantastic story. The mystery of a disappearing Dad, a boy who can communicate with beetles and a very weird "villain" who is extremely creepy!'
  • Brodie Greenslade, age 10 - 'An exciting story about a lonely boy, a giant beetle and a huge mystery. A gripping read.'
  • Daniel Harrison, age 9 - 'Even if you're not keen on beetles, you will still love this book.  When Darkus' dad disappears he goes to live with his exotic uncle Max. This is when the adventure begins...'
  • Cora Willans, age 9 - 'Brilliant Book!'

Beetle Queen Press Reviews

Praise for Beetle Boy:

‘I loved Beetle Boy. It is at once engaging, creepy (bound to be), funny and full of excitement. Truly great storytelling.’ MICHAEL MORPURGO

‘I predict Beetle-mania.’ THE TIMES

‘It’s a cracking mystery adventure, with plenty of Roald Dahl-esque humour to engage readers.’ FIONA NOBLE, THE BOOKSELLER

‘[A] fast-paced, witty whodunnit … Full of Dahl-esque characters, funny plot twists and entomological details.’ BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE


‘The comparisons with Dahl are well deserved. As well as being brilliantly written, Beetle Boy is poignant, original and has that sinister edge so many of Dahl’s greatest tales have.’ THE SUN
‘Her dialogue is dark and punchy and her plot thrilling: in the end you can do nothing but hail her as an original new voice in children’s literature.’ THE TIMES - CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK

‘Roald Dahl meets 101 Dalmatians in a rollicking ride, full of adventure’ DAILY EXPRESS

‘. . . what really makes this book memorable is the supporting cast, researched in fascinating detail . . . The discovery that a seemingly powerless band of creatures can be possessed of such skill, beauty and strength should keep this gem on many a bedroom and library shelf for years to come.’ THE GUARDIAN

‘If you’ve always regarded beetles as something unpleasant to be chased away from picnics, then this romp of a mystery thriller may change your attitude . . . by the end young readers will have absorbed a huge amount of information on this resilient species.’ THE DAILY MAIL

‘Parents be warned: this enchanting story is likely to make beetles very popular pets.’ THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

‘Like Roald Dahl’s capers, this story has an edge of desperation and darkness that makes its animal interactions and adventure all the more exciting.’ AMANDA CRAIG, NEW STATESMAN

‘Leonard’s exceptional debut is exciting and educational.’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781910002773
Publication date: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781910002773
Publication date: 6th April 2017
Author: M.G. Leonard
Illustrator: Karl James Mountford
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Crime / Mystery, Family / Home Stories, Animals
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks
Other Categories: Audio Books

About M.G. Leonard

M.G. Leonard has a first-class honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from Kings College London. She is the author of Beetle Boy and is still overcoming her fear of all things creepy crawly. She works in London as the Senior Digital Media Producer for the National Theatre, and previously worked at the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. Leonard spent her early career in the music industry running Setanta Records, an independent record label, and managing bands, most notably The Divine Comedy. After leaving the music industry, she trained as an ...

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