Leonie Skyforce-Clarke and the Mystery of the Green Case

Hi there, my name is Leonie. Leonie Skyforce-Clarke.

I’ve written down this strange story, a bit in the spirit of Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to capture some of the pretty wild events that happened to me and my brother Lionel this summer. I don’t know who will actually ever read this, but you know what they say - write it down and they will come.

Lionel: I’ve never heard anyone say that. Ever.

By way of introduction, I am 10 years old and my brother Lionel (as you just met above) is 9. We live in Australia in a beachside suburb of Sydney.

Our house is perched at the top of a hill overlooking Tamarama Beach. I know that must sound incredibly remote and rather romantic, but it’s not really. We basically live off a public walkway made up of what feels like a million wobbly, uneven concrete stairs that eventually lead down to the beach. The Tama Stairs as they’re called. So, while heading down to the beach isn’t too bad, getting back home can be a bit of a tricky business. That being said, Tamarama Beach is a real jewel, a narrow little cove filled with bright golden sand and dark glittery turquoise waters.

So, I guess you want to know a bit about me? Well, I’m an average height, have very light wispy hair and freckles that come out like crazy in the sun. When I’m not at school, I love swimming at the beach and reading mystery books at night. Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie are my favourites. I’m not sure if that gives you much of a picture of me, but there you go.

Lionel is super tall with light brown hair. He has autism which means his brain is wired a bit differently. To a lot of the world he can sometimes come off a bit strange and awkward, but we get on in our own way. During the holidays we tend to see a lot of each other. I know when to stay out of his way. It works.

Mum is a cardiothoracic surgeon. She literally cuts people’s chests open with a mini chainsaw for a living. That actually has nothing to do with this story but I think that’s a pretty nutty thing to do every day.

Dad isn’t half so interesting. He’s a lawyer in town. He’s always, always on his phone. It drives Lionel and me quite mad.

Given Mum and Dad are so busy, we usually have a nanny around to make sure we eat and stay alive and all that. Beatriz was selected by Mum to join us in time for the summer holidays. Somehow Mum got it into her head that Beatriz could teach us Spanish. I don’t know if Mum is going a bit off her rocker or what though, because Beatriz literally knows less Spanish than I do.

Lionel: And believe me, that’s saying something.

Lionel and I haven’t said anything to Mum about it because the last thing we want during the holidays is Spanish lessons, and Beatriz is a very low-key nanny. And by low-key I mean we’d probably have to walk in with severed limbs to get her to stop watching TV. But you know what? That suits both of us just fine.

Next: Chapter 1