When Batholomew Cuttle, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, disappears from a room which had been locked from the inside, his son Darkus is determined to find out what has happened to him. With the help of two new school friends Virginia and Bertolt, and a rhinoceros beetle called Baxter, he sets about solving the mystery.
This is an amusing and exciting mystery adventure story with a gripping plot and memorable characters including two truly revolting next door neighbours and a very scary villain named Lucretia Cutter. There is no shortage of beetles in this story too and readers will learn lots of interesting facts about them; insect sceptics may change their opinion as they discover how the army of beetles with their varied skills help Darkus become reunited with his father.
Listen to author, MG Leonard, as she introduces the book
Watch the beginning of the story read aloud by Tom Fletcher
Talk about the story
Which scenes in the story do you find most memorable, funny or scary?
What have you found out about beetles from the story?
What would you like to ask the author about the story?
If the story continued, what would you like to happen next? (NB there are two more books in the trilogy to read so you will be able to find out whether the writer had the same idea for continuing the story as you have