Tag Archives: Kieran Crowley

What’s in a name?

The name’s Brian. Or it might be Derek.

When I read Nigel Quinlan’s the Cloak of Feathers some weeks ago, I was struck by his use of the – in my opinion – old-fashioned name Brian, for a 12-year-old hero. But this was Ireland, I reminded myself.

Not that they are old-fashioned, but that maybe the feel of a name is different; that it doesn’t signify a certain decade. My Brians are all ten years older than I am.

Also, this Brian had a friend – more like an enemy to begin with – called Derek. Also, not so much a name for a 12-year-old, I thought.

Then I came to read The Misfits Club by Kieran Crowley. His hero is called Brian. Also 12. He doesn’t have a friend called Derek, but the grandmother in the book decided to call Brian Derek, for some reason.

When I’d got that far, the coupling of those two names chimed, and I went and double-checked that it was Brian and Derek in the earlier book. That I wasn’t just dreaming Brians and Dereks for no reason.

It was.

I then asked the Resident IT Consultant how old a Brian would be, in his opinion. He went to school with some Brians, but added that ‘it is an Irish name, of course.’

So perhaps that’s it. Brian is nice and fresh in Ireland. Whereas here I’d be surprised to meet a small boy called that. Or Derek.

They are not exactly Finns. Do you remember my piece on Finns, many years ago? Don’t answer that. You won’t. But it was one of these little filler posts I wrote, which took me by surprise and became very popular, with much debate. I especially liked the Finn who so swiftly got rid of a Cathy. And Urban is still available if anyone wants him?


The Misfits Club

The Misfits Club are not as good at solving crimes as they would like to think they are. Or more accurately, they can’t really find any good crimes to solve. It’s tough living in the most boring town in Ireland.

Things are about to change, though. Brian and Hannah, and their friends, twins Chris and Sam, acquire a new club member. Amelia has been banished to her grandmother’s after behaving badly at home, and it’s during her initiation tasks to join the club that the mystery appears, and with her new friends she sets about solving what they hope is a crime.

Kieran Crowley, The Misfits Club

It’s a bit slow at first, but soon the crime looks a lot more promising. They certainly seem to antagonise people by being nosy, which is a good sign. As with other groups of five, they are all skilled at different things. Chris is the nerd with the brains, Sam and Brian are more brawn, Hannah is frequently grounded by her strict parents and Amelia wasn’t sent away for nothing.

They don’t have long, as Sam and Chris are about to move away, and Amelia will eventually have to leave too. But surely it’s not too much to expect to catch some thieves in two weeks?

It’s not. They get on their bikes and solve away, and Chris is an excellent picker of locks, even if he gets out of breath on his bike. The twins have a distant cousin who is a garda, and Amelia’s grandmother turns out to be pretty useful too.

Nice little adventure of the kind we have all dreamed of being part of, at some time in our lives. Great to see children from different backgrounds learning to get on, and avoiding the curse of living somewhere so boring.

I’d be happy to see more of what they can do, but will author Kieran Crowley return with his Misfits, now that three of them are leaving? And how much crime can their town support?