Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Pitch Finalist #50 - The Lost Spitfire

The Lost Spitfire


The prototype Supermarine Spitfire is a beacon of hope as the dark clouds of WWII gather over England. Genius designer R.J. Mitchell is fighting his own personal battle with cancer and time is running out. In the last months of his life he secretly produces a revolutionary aircraft design, working with Frank Whittle, the father of the jet engine. Two sets of blueprints survive Mitchell’s death. Charles Beaumontt has one set, but he is too busy building the original Spitfires under the menace of repeated Luftwaffe bombings, to build the new plane.  The other set of blueprints vanish across the Atlantic in a confusion of bombs and murder.

In 2012, Jimmy Beaumontt Clarke is an aircraft-obsessed eleven year old who hates his middle name 'because it's different', but everything changes when he finds it scratched into the instrument panel of a vintage Spitfire. Searching through his grandmother’s memories and her old papers, Jimmy uncovers a series of letters confirming the existence of Mitchell's priceless blueprints, and the hunt is on. Jimmy will need all the blitz spirit he inherited from Charles if he is to find the blueprints, preserve Mitchell’s legacy and, in doing so, expose the truth behind Canada's most enigmatic fighter plane.  However, a Canadian aviation magnate stands ready to prevent Jimmy from exposing the act of plagiarism that launched his career.

First 150 Words:

Germany lost the Second World War three years before it even began. Hitler didn't notice, but Charles Beaumontt knew more than Hitler.

The spring day cooled as it slipped into late afternoon. Charles could taste salt on the damp breeze from the English Channel a few miles to the south. He shivered and drew his overcoat around his slender frame, shoulders hunched, hands thrust into the deep pockets as he gazed skyward. Above him, England's newest fighter soared for the first time, light blue enameled fuselage almost invisible against the grey sky as it wrote the dictator’s future in the clouds. The war's first salvo rang loud across the patchwork fields of the Hampshire countryside.

The press had left R.J. Mitchell alone for a moment. Charles walked over to the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and stuck out his hand. "She's beautiful, Mitch. She's going to put a spanner in Hitler's plans, for sure."


Linda Glaz said...

Very exciting opening line.

Hannah Bowman said...

I'll be honest -- I think this is a great concept, but I found the query a little too dry. Clearly there's a lot of great historical detail and plot here, but I found myself wanting more of a character's voice to hang on to and draw me into the story.

Sara D'Emic said...

I liked this premise, but the voice sounded almost middle grade towards the end of the query. Though Jimmy is in that age group, for an adult novel there didn't appear to be much depth in the plot. There's an adventure and a villain, but what else?