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I'm trying to remember the title of a British children's book I read in the 70s. It's about a boy who rescues a "dog" from being attacked. However, the dog turns out to be a griffin with magical powers tasked with hunting down lost historical items.

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    Obviously more obscure than I thought. I can remember a few random details: the boy's father was in prison and at the end he returned home, the griffin having fixed things in some way as a reward. The lost item he was searching for was something like a china tea-service belonging to the Prince Regent. I think it was set in Brighton on the south coast of England. Jun 19, 2013 at 8:26

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+50

Awkward Magic by Elisabeth Beresford

When Joe blew the whistle, the two boys stopped throwing stones and ran away. Something moved in the shadows and whimpered. It was black and covered in coal dust - a dog, he thought. But when it came up the steps, its long nails clicked on the stones, it had a thick ruff of hair around its neck and a long pointy nose like a beak. Then it started to talk. 'I,' said the dog, 'am a Griffin. 'And so began a series of extraordinary adventures when Joe and his friends, Grace and Mr Wilkins, became part of the Griffin's magic mission.

When Joe stops two boys throwing stones at what he thinks to be a dog cowering in a basement area, he little realises what this incident will lead to. For this is no ordinary dog. Joe has rescued a live griffin.

Seen on What's that Book and this blog post.

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  • Thanks for your answer. It would be great if you could list out some of the reasons you believe this is the correct book, especially since neither of the links you provided have any sort of synopsis of the story.
    – phantom42
    Jun 20, 2013 at 13:42
  • This is weird. I confirmed this answer as correct ages ago and added a comment here which has been deleted. Thanks again to Frock. Mar 6, 2017 at 13:06
  • See phantom42's comment above. They want more information added to the answer.
    – Frock
    Mar 19, 2017 at 10:06

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