The principal characters, Dean and Sybil Slater, close-knit mother and son team embark on a series of ingenious, humorous and somewhat daring missions to solve a variety of irritating anti-social problems which plague their town of Buckthorn.
Sybil is the clever mastermind and spends time dreaming up subtle, but effective methods to solve and eradicate problems such as dog fowling on pavements, loud music from neighbours and loitering, trouble-making youths. She is driven by the lethargic attitudes of the local police and the council in dismissing such problems as trivial and not worthy of serious attention.
Dean, an avid James Bond fan, is keen to help his mother and views the excitement of such clandestine operations like typical secret agent missions his hero might embark upon.
Dean is somewhat of a loner and suffers some self-esteem problems given his slight chubby appearance and clumsy nature, however is likeable and this manifests itself during the story when he is befriended by his pretty classmate, Hayley. This relationship is resisted by Dean initially owing to embarrassment, however the ice soon thaws and the friendship soon grows into mutual fondness.
Can they clean up the town and avoid falling foul of the law?
The door opened with a squeak, and nine year old Dean entered his home. He removed his school rucksack from his shoulder and carelessly tossed it across the hallway, before pulling off his jacket and hanging it over a nearby coat hook. He climbed the stairway leading to his bedroom and was met by James Bond outside his room; a full sized poster of Daniel Craig looking lean and mean in his tuxedo and pistol, stood guard on his room door. Dean glanced into Daniel’s pale blue eyes and envied the job of the famous spy. Upon entering his rather messy room, he flopped onto his, as yet, unmade bed.
Suddenly a cry came from downstairs as Dean’s mother howled up to him.
“Oh my goodness, Dean….aaaarrrggh!”
Dean jumped up immediately and ran to the door. What could he have done? It was either something he should have done but did not, or something he should not have done but did, but the urgency in his mother’s voice was not comforting.
“Dean, get down here right now.” shouted Sybil, Dean’s mother, still with a sense of panic in her voice.
Dean raced to the top of the stairs and saw what the evident emergency was. Sybil stood pointing at a series of dark brown stains on the light coloured carpet covering the stairs. The tracks led all the way to Dean. He couldn’t deny he was the author of the stains; he had no siblings to blame, and the marks were certainly not made by Sybil.
“You have trailed dog dirt into the house and all the way up the stairs.” bemoaned Sybil.
Dean stood there looking like the proverbial naughty schoolboy, avoiding eye contact with Sybil. Dean looked at the underside of his shoe, and there was the source of the stain and the now putrid smell emanating from the carpet like a genie from a magic lantern. A dark brown sludge was adhered to the sole of his shoe. Dean checked the other shoe hoping that this one was clear, however to his horror, this one was a different batch; a yellowy-brown colour, and just as smelly.
“Take those shoes off right now.” commanded Sybil.
“What will I do with them?” Dean stupidly enquired.
“Oh Dean, think. Just put them outside right now and get that carpet cleaned.”
Dean slowly removed his shoes, taking extra care not to get the varieties of dog poo on his hands, and made his way down to the front door holding both shoes as though they were sticks of dynamite and ready to explode at any moment. He opened the door and carefully placed them on the front step. As he turned around, he noticed his mother, still in a state of shock with her hands covering her face. She was making sighing sounds about one every two seconds. Dean thought she sounded like an old steam train.
“Sorry mum. I didn’t know I had stepped on dog doo.” Dean admitted sheepishly.
Sybil turned to face her son, removing her hands from her face so she could make full benefit of her hard stare.
“How could you not have noticed you were trailing all that…mess into this house?” Sybil asked.
“And anyway, haven’t I told you to take off your shoes as you come in the door?”
Dean stood there looking slightly embarrassed, and admitted.
“Sorry mum, I forgot.”
“Oh Dean. What am I going to do with you?” said Sybil, and followed it up with a long sigh.
Sybil couldn’t be angry with Dean for long; he was her only son and she loved him despite him being a bit on the clumsy side, and quite frequently incapable of exercising a dose of common sense.
On the whole, mother and son got on pretty well.