Book Review: Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London ZooBalthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stuart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a funny little book. Funny strange, not funny haha. Quirky is probably the right word.

The main character is a beefeater who works at the Tower of London. Buckingham Palace decides that the animals at London Zoo which actually belong to the Queen are to be moved to a menagerie at the Tower so Balthazar Jones becomes their keeper. Not a lot really happens with the animals apart from a parrot witnessing an illicit tryst and the penguins going missing. Eventually they are all moved back to the zoo.

The other part of the story involves Balthazar’s wife and her work colleague who work for the London Underground Lost Property Office. They fill their time trying to track down the owners of lost things but sometimes when on their breaks they have fun with some of the objects such as putting on a pantomime horse head, or having a nap in a sarcophagus.

There seem to be quite a lot of people living at the Tower of London. The resident parson also doubles as a writer of romantic fiction and has an unrequited love for the local pub landlady. There are also some interesting characters on the underground.

One reviewer said they laughed out loud in places while reading this book. I may have smirked a couple of times but it certainly wasn’t that funny. There is a poignant moment near the end when the death of Balthazar’s son is explained.

If you are looking for something a bit different give this a go, I’d like to know what you think.

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