Candy Jar Books wishes us all a Merry Christmas with a free copy of a short festive story, starring everyone’s favourite moustachioed military man. Or maybe he’s clean shaven… more on that in a mo.
The Case of the Missing Fairy is a quick read (only 25 pages), and tells the story of the Brigadier searching for a missing fairy that has been stolen from atop a Christmas tree. You won’t find much peril or danger in these pages. The Brigadier doesn’t run for his life at any point or fight any insidious monsters. His only problem is a group of unruly schoolboys… which might be worse. Give him the Great Intelligence or Cybermen any day.
That’s right; this story takes place during time the Brigadier was a teacher at Brendon Public School. As prequel to Mawdryn Undead, it gives you more insight into the Brig as a tutor, but fortunately nothing that makes having seen Mawdryn necessary to read this. All you need to know is that Alistair is a teacher now, which is about as much set up as the TV story gave.
Lethbridge-Stewart is tasked with discovering the whereabouts of a missing tree topper. There are several boys under suspicion and one teacher is keen on interrogating them all quiet intensely. The Brig has a slightly more subtle approach, but he soon learns why Mr Grey is so eager to find the fairy. It doesn’t sound like the most magnetic premise, but the tale nonetheless draws you in and keeps your attention. It’s ideal as a short story, and obviously perfect for Christmas. In fact, it feels somehow akin to the stories you might find in a Rupert the Bear Annual.
The story may be short, but the characters are varied and full of life. The suspected boys run the gambit of stereotypical school kids; the swot, the bully, the ginger etc. The few teachers involved are interesting as well; the head is an especially fun character.
This is the first Lethbridge-Stewart story I have read and I definitely want to read more. There’s no better place to start with a free story. I can’t wait to find out what they do with a more conventional alien-centric plot.
The Case of the Missing Fairy further proves that we need more stories starring the Brigadier as a teacher. I am sure Turlough was a nuisance before he stole that car…