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Able Seacat Simon

The Wartime Hero of the High Seas

About The Book

Inspired by a true story, a fictional reimagining of a cat named Simon whose heroism and feline charisma won over the crew of a British warship just after World War II.

Discovered in the Hong Kong docks in 1948 and smuggled onboard the H.M.S Amethyst by a British sailor who takes pity on the malnourished kitten, Simon quickly acclimates to his new water-borne home. The friendly feline soon established himself as the chief rat-catcher, while also winning the hearts of the entire crew.

Then the Amethyst is ordered to sail up the Yangtze River to take over the guarding of the British Embassy, but the ship comes under fire from Communist guns. Tragedy strikes and many of the crew are killed and Simon is among those seriously wounded. Luckily, with the help of the ship’s doctor, the brave cat makes a full recovery and is soon spending time with the injured men, purring and keeping their spirits up. News of Simon’s heroics in dangerous wartime seas spreads and he becomes famous worldwide—but it is still a long journey back to England for both the crew and the plucky little cat known as “Able Seacat Simon”…

About The Author

Lynne Barrett-Lee is a successful novelist and ghostwriter with several Sunday Times bestselling titles to her name, including the Julie Shaw series of gritty Bradford-based dramas, and the global bestseller The Girl With No Name, which has been translated into 26 languages. Her recent bestseller, Able Seacat Simonhas recently been adapted for children. When not busy writing books, Lynne runs a novel writing course at Cardiff University, and pens a weekly column for The Western Mail. To find out more about Lynne and her books, visit

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (September 6, 2016)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471151835

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Raves and Reviews

‘The story of plucky orphaned kitten Simon, rescued from the docks of Hong Kong in 1948 to join the crew of HMS Amethyst, cannot fail to warm the cockles of even the coldest heart…Barrett-Lee brilliantly reimagines the trials and tribulations of life on board through the eyes of her feline protagonist…painstakingly researched, this is more than a heart-warming animal story: it is also an inspiration and an informative tale. This is great historical fiction – and a must for any cat lover’

– The Lady

‘During the 1949 Yangtse Incident, HMS Amethyst lost 22 crew and was trapped for three months before escaping. Also on board was a kitten adopted in Hong Kong by an Amethyst sailor. This is Able Seacat Simon’s nail-biting story’

– My Weekly


– Lucky Break

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