Books > Rita Wong and the Jade Mask

Rita Wong and the Jade Mask

Mark Jones, illustrated by Seamus Jennings


30 September 2021









Rita Wong leads an ordinary existence sipping hot chocolate in Morecambe. That is until a dragon called Lester Thyme crosses her path. He leads her to a place known as Neon City where the streets are dark with magic. Between the two of them, Lester and Rita become detectives for hire. Their case involves stolen goods, and will see them meet femme fatales, crime bosses and a whole host of monsters. Although amateurs in the crime detection business, Rita and Lester will need to learn fast if they want to survive the week. A fast detective story set in a landscape studded with danger, the unexpected and lots of humour.

Read an interview with Mark Jones.

If Raymond Chandler had set out to write a fantasy crime thriller for young people, starring dragons, werewolves and vampires, the result may well have been something like Rita Wong and the Jade Mask.  

– Lovereading4Kids, Book of the Month

Hold on to your seat, believe in the powerful magic of the storytelling, and you will be rewarded with a tale full of danger, mystery, subterfuge and lots of humour as this amazing story leads Wong and Thyme and the reader into a world that is enticingly scary and full of mind-bending surprises

– School Reading List

A classic crime thriller with a twist. Full of funny, fantastical characters and a dark edge, children will love trying to solve the mystery along with Jade and her dragon friend, Lester Thyme

– Scope for Imagination

Page-turning stuff. Cool illustrations too by Seamus Jennings

– Books for Keeps

I enjoyed the book’s dry humour and the sharp dialogue, particularly Lester’s witty comebacks. There’s a brilliant cast of fantastical characters – from werewolves with hangups about hair loss to an ostentatious ghost, and the ruthless undead. Wannabe sleuths will certainly enjoy trying to piece together all the clues and work out whodunnit

– Get Kids into Books

Welcome to the mean streets of Neon City… really enjoyed Mark Jones’ cracking debut Rita Wong & the Jade Mask – reads like Lewis Carroll sat down with Chandler and conjured up a fab new gumshoe in Lester Thyme, a dragon with a nose for trouble.

– Robin Scott-Elliot

This breakneck page turner combines the atmosphere of classic hard-boiled crime thrillers with plenty of laughs, secretive magic and many fantastical characters.

– Every Mum Blog, best books coming out September

A dark and funny tale of mystery and adventure

– Big Issue North

If his debut, RITA WONG AND THE JADE MASK, is anything to go by, Mark Jones is an exciting new voice in the world of children’s fiction and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Original, exciting, funny and FUN. 

– Philip Ardagh

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