'I think I've done something really stupid."

Verne said. He pulled open his rucksack.

"The Nimius! You got it working again?"

exclaimed Lil. "Brilliant!"

Verne shook his head.

"No it's not brilliant actually. Not at all."

Lil and Verne may think they have quelled the Dark Forces that tried to destroy Whitby, but they have no idea that the powers they've been meddling with are about to turn on them.

Despite Lil's crucial role in saving her home from destruction, she notices that the townsfolk have become ary of her - even fear her. More than ever she needs the support of best friend Verne and the witch Cherry Cerise, but they are preoccupied by their attempts to uncover more secrets of the golden Nimius.

When a mysterious paintbox arrives from the past, Lil is keen to discuss its secrets, little knowing that every time she uses it something nasty escapes...

Continuing the supernatural adventure series that began with The Power of Dark.





I try to make my books safe places to escape to. When real life is letting you down, slip away and forget about it in these pages. The stories are in no way safe for my characters though and this time their survival is genuinely in doubt.

The Devil's Paintbox takes place some months after the traumatic events of The Power of Dark. I wanted to show that Verne and Lil's involvement in magic has a terrible price and awful consequences. The danger of meddling with that secret world finally hits home, in the worst ways imaginable. The two friends learn just how perilous magic really is and dreadful, uncontrollable powers are unleashed. As each new enchantment afflicts the town, Lil and Verne's lives are blown apart in more personal ways. I really wanted to ramp up the jeopardy and the pair of them are pushed to the limits, suffering physically and emotionally. The events here are going to be life changing, and scarring, with no easy fixes.

As the resident witch, Cherry Cerise is tested to breaking point - are her powers strong enough to protect Whitby this time? Writing for her was an absolute joy, she just jumped onto those pages fully formed, in a blast of psychodelic colours and Marc Bolan songs. This is her greatest trial, can she step up and prove herself worthy of the trust placed in her? 

Jack Potts, the robot butler returns, and for an automaton, he really is a complex personality, full of internal conflict and that was fascinating to get my teeth into. As the casualties and sense of panic rise, and the world falls apart around him, what final choice will Potts make?

And then there is Mister Dark. He's back to deliver the worst punishment conceivable, the utter humiliation of the last Whitby witch, together with the town's agonising destruction.

I'm constantly shocked at how evil he truly is, there's nothing he wouldn't do to wreak his revenge and there's worse still to come. His ambition is greater and more terrifying than anyone could ever guess at.

Finally I'd just like to apologise profusely to the town of Whitby, for everything I do to it in this book!


"...The Devil's Paintbox is a phenomenal addition to the Robin Jarvis canon. It'll make you smile, it'll make you weep. It'll scare you out of your wits. If you're not caught up on The Power of Dark yet, get on that right away, and join me in sobbing over the amazing places this series is going."
Aufwader: Oh My Dear Paws,Oh My Fur & Whiskers

Published by Egmont Publishing.


© Copyright Robin Jarvis