Author(s): Justine Windsor
An archly funny, classic mystery adventure with a magic twist! Lucy Goodly is the new boot girl at Grave Hall, working for the cold, aloof Lord Grave. The other staff - Vonk the Butler, Mrs Crawley the cook and Violet the scullery maid - all seem friendly but Lucy soon notices that strange things are afoot in her new home - and not just Mrs Crawley's experimental anchovy omelettes. There are moving statues, magical books and Lord Grave has a secret. Meanwhile, all over the country, children are vanishing. Could the mystery of the missing children be linked to the strange goings-on? Lucy is determined to find out...
Lucy Goodly wins every game of poker in Mrs Milligan's Gambling Den, with the help of a magical card she stole from a beautiful red-haired lady. And it's just as well because her parents are hopeless gamblers and until now they had been almost destitute. But one night she pits her wits against the cold and aloof Lord Grave and loses - his magic card has trumped hers. The forfeit? Lucy has to become the new boot girl at Grave Hall, where strange things are going on. The statues move, the books are magic, there are wild animals in the grounds and the food dished up by the bearded cook, Mrs Crawley, never seems to run out. Meanwhile, all over the country, children are vanishing and when Violet the scullery maid disappears too, Lucy is determined to find the link.
This 12-year-old cardsharp is a sassy and fearless sleuth who has to extricate herself and her new friends from some dangerous situations. Readers aged 9 plus will love this darkly delicious, cleverly plotted adventure that features black and white illustrations throughout.
Justine Windsor is a debut author but has been shortlisted and won various new writers awards including the Times/Chicken House children's writers prize and the youwriteone.com Children's Book of the Year. She lives and works in London.