On a very cold but bright Thursday morning I joined Philip Caveney at Mary King’s Close, ahead of the launch of his new children’s/teen novel Crow Boy to several Edinburgh school groups. They had been specially invited along to meet Philip, hear a reading from the book and receive a special mini tour of Mary King’s Close, courtesy of the lovely staff there. Philip’s new title – Crow Boy is set in Mary King’s Close in 2012 and 1645 and follows the adventures of a young boy, Tom Afflick, who finds himself somehow transported back in time from 2012 and apprenticed to a plague doctor. Hence the launch in Mary King’s Close. The book display looked amazing, complete with banners, and we anticipated a great morning. We were not to be disappointed – right on time at half-past nine, the first school group arrived – St. Thomas’s High School – and were swiftly led into the depths of Mary King’s Close. Next to arrive were three groups of children from St Mary’s Primary and at intervals of 15 minutes they too were taken for ‘the tour’. As the last group from St Mary’s were disappearing into the Close, the first group appeared back upstairs, raring to meet Philip and buy signed copies of Crow Boy. As the children listened to Philip and asked him questions about the book, our last school group arrived – first years from Holy Rood High. As well as signing books for eager young fans, Philip was also accosted by several tourists waiting for the official tour and wanting to hear all about the book. They too bought several signed copies of the book. The general consensus from all schools who attended the launch was that it was ‘great!’ There were only two children from the 100 or so who attended who were too spooked to take the tour – not bad going, we think. The book has continued to fly out the door at Mary King’s Close – they report themselves as being delighted with sales. Long may it continue!