Category Archives: Helen Moss

The Dragon Path, by Helen Moss

The worthy sequel to The Phoenix Code, The Dragon Path is the second book in the Secrets of the Tombs series, based in China.

Before leaving for China, Cleo and Ryan are told by Cleo’s grandmother, Eveline May Bell to return a green jade ring to the Dragon Path.  She tells them of how she followed a group of archaeologists when she was a child (she lived in China) and how she watched them excavate it.

“‘There were dragons down there,’ she murmured.  ‘Fire breathing dragons . . .'”

A Frenchman was meant to have filmed it all so, in search of explanation, Cleo and Ryan go to The History of Archaeology Museum in the hope he might have donated his work there.  They find a film of routine excavations but the 5th film out of the expected 6 is missing.  A friendly archivist finds it and promises to email them a digital copy when they arrive in China.

It would ruin too much of the suspense to say what happens in the film but I will say this – there is a lot of fire, death and dragons.

It is a worthy successor to the Phoenix Code and has a thrilling historical element, with wonderful suspense.  It made me laugh out loud at least twice and has a bit so funny it made me hysterical.  My one criticism is the criminal side is definitely not as good as the thrilling villainous element of the Phoenix Code, but the Dragon Path makes up for it in its wonderful mysterious plot.

Buy the Book Here!


Helen Moss’s Competition!

Helen Moss recently ran a competition in which you had to draw a scene out of “The Phoenix Code.”    I entered and came runner up!

The winners and runners-up were announced in this post on her website.

The winner is going to be a character in  Secrets of the Tombs 3, and I have a SIGNED COPY of “The Phoenix Code” winging it’s way to me as we speak!!!  Yippee!


Get yours here!


Interview with Helen Moss!

I haven’t been blogging in a while as I’ve been very busy starting secondary school, but I’ve got a very exciting comeback here-an interview with Helen Moss!

Helen Moss,  whose books feature a lot on my site, has very kindly agreed to answer some of my questions related to writing children’s books!

Here are my questions and her answers….

1. How did you become an author?

“I didn’t start being an author until about seven years ago. Before that I was a scientist for many years. I did research into how our brains understand and remember language. It was great fun, but I always enjoyed making up stories (I used to write lots of stories and plays when I was a kid).  I moved to America for a year with my family and when I came back it seemed like a great chance to try something new instead of going back to my old job. I thought I’d try writing a book and give it a year to see if I was getting anywhere; if not, I’d go back to being a scientist.  Luckily I was able to find a fantastic agent and was taking my first steps on the way to having a book published just in time.  I feel very lucky as I’ve had two of the best jobs in the world – scientist and writer.”

2. How do you get your ideas?

“It’s mainly a case of catching ideas as they whizz past. I always have my eyes and ears open for intriguing stories or snippets of stories. I might hear something on the radio or see it in the paper or even just hear people talking on the bus or in a cafe (I’m very nosy). Then I put lots of different bits together and mix them up to make them into something new.”

3. How much do you write in a day?

“It very much depends which stage of a book I’m at. I might be doing research and planning, or editing a draft. At other times I’m doing school visits or other publicity things. But when I’m working on the first draft of a book, I try to write about 1500 words a day (which is about the length of an Adventure Island chapter). In fact, to end up with that many words on the page, I’ve probably written 10 times as many and deleted them. I’m very indecisive when I write and change things around a lot as I go along until I’m happy with it.”

4. What’s the best thing about being an author?

“The best thing is getting to make up stories and always having something to be thinking about. The other best thing is when people say that they have enjoyed reading the books.”

5.What’s the worst thing about being an author?

“Sometimes you have to finish things by a deadline and if you’re stuck on a tricky bit – like a plot that won’t quite work out – then it can get quite stressful, because it just goes round and round in your head. But deadlines are also good, because without them, then it would be tempting to just give up when the story isn’t working too well – and there is always a way through in the end if you just keep working at it.”

6. Why do you write books for children?

“I was a massive bookworm when I was a child (I still am) and now it really makes me happy to think that I might be able to recreate the joy of being lost in a book that I used to feel. It’s still one of my favourite feelings – when you have a really good book on the go and all day you are looking forward to when you can get back to it! And then reading just one more chapter and one more . . . my goal in life is to keep children up past their bedtimes reading my books!”

7. What books did you like when you were young?

“I loved reading mystery and adventure stories so Enid Blyton was a big favourite. But I also enjoyed animal stories like Watership Down and The Incredible Journey. And I enjoyed historical books like The Wool Pack and spooky stories like The Owl Service – actually I liked reading most things!”

Thank you so much to Helen for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.

Check out Helen’s website here, it is very interesting and gives an insight into the mind of a famous author  🙂




The Phoenix Code, by Helen Moss

The first in Helen Moss’s new “Secret’s of the Tomb’s” series, The Phoenix Code is based in Egypt, in the Valley of the Kings.

The book starts off with a team of archaeologists exploring Pharaoh Smenkhkare’s tomb.  Their main aim was to uncover the Benben Stone, a mythical Egyptian pyramidal stone.  In a document found in Smenkhkare’s tomb, he confesses that he stole the Benben Stone and put it in the third chamber of his tomb.

As soon as the third chamber is found, it is explored- and nothing is found.  Daughter of the lead archaeologists, Cleopatra McNeil (Cleo for short!) is convinced they have been looking for it in the wrong place so she, and the son of the journalist covering the case, set about finding it.

It is a trickier problem than it first seems, though, but after narrowly escaping a dangerous pitfall, they find the place where Cleo is convinced the Benben, and the rest of the missing burial treasure is.

Yet again, however, they are disappointed.  After a brainwave of Cleo’s (as I don’t want to spoil the story I won’t tell you what it is), they are on the roll again.

Just when they seem in arms reach of the Benben, an unknown enemy seems determined to find the stone themselves…..

The Phoenix Code is a brilliant book and is definitely a must buy for anyone who like adventure and mystery books.

Click here to buy it!


My Top Ten Mystery Books

This is my list of the best adventure/mystery books for children.  I’m listing them in reverse order, starting from ten to my favourite of all, number one.

10. The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage, by Enid Blyton.

A mystery with a very surprising solution.  The Five Find-Outers solve the mystery with a bit of Sherlock-Homes-rivalling deduction and observance.

Buy This Book

9. The Secret of Spiggy Holes, by Enid Blyton.

A wonderful adventure book, complete with secret passages and a gang of kidnapping criminals.

Buy This Book

8. The Mystery of the Hidden Gold, by Helen Moss.

A brilliant story, expertly told.

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7. The Mystery of the Invisible Spy, by Helen Moss.

I love the spy theme to this book and the way the plot completely twists half way through.  A very, very good book.

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 6. The Adventurous Four, by Enid Blyton.

This is a very exciting book, with loads of adventure, and because of that, it’s getting a sixth place finish.

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5. The Mystery of the Black Salamander, by Helen Moss.

This is a BRILLIANT book, and is possibly number one in the most complicated plot competition (if there is one!).

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4. The Strike of the Shark, by Bear Grylls.

When I started reading this I thought it was going to be about a boy surviving all kinds of extreme locations and animals, which would have been brilliant, but it combines this with a whole load of mystery, which secures its number four finish.

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3. The Mystery of the Secret Room, by Helen Moss.

I like this book because it is packed with adventure and kept me hooked until the very end.  I also like sort of history-mystery thing because the feeling in the book that the mystery is centuries old makes this definitely the third best mystery book I’ve read so far.

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2. The Extraordinary Cases of Sherlock Homes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I have just bought this book and it is brilliant.  It is a selection of eight Sherlock Homes cases and it is amazing.  If I had to give it a rating out of ten, I would give it eleven!

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1.The Mystery of the Phoenix Code, by Helen Moss.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite mystery book ever, with one of the most unguessable plots ever.  As soon as I bought it I read it three times in a row I liked it so much!

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I hope you enjoy my list, and call back as I might be reviewing some of these books in more detail soon.  🙂