Charlie and the Chocloate Factory meets Clue when six children navigate a mansion full of secrets—and maybe money—in this this humorous mystery with heart.
Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.
Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, the countess reveals that each of the six children is adopted, and that one of them is her long-lost grandchild—and heir to a large fortune. Not only that, but the countess plans to keep and raise her grandchild, regardless of what the adoptive parents have to say about it.
Then the children beginning disappearing, one by one. So Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, attempts to solve the case and rescue the other children…who just might be her first real friends.
Jessica Lawson is the author of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher, a book that Publishers Weekly called “a delightfully clever debut” in a starred review, and Nooks & Crannies, a Junior Library Guild Selection and recipient of three starred reviews. She is also the author of Waiting for Augusta, Under the Bottle Bridge, and How to Save a Queendom. You can visit her at JessicaLawsonBooks.com.
"In the grand tradition of Roald Dahl. . . . A plucky amateur detective, secret passages, exaggerated characters, concealed identities, and dastardly villains equal a swell mystery."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Original, engaging, and funny.... The writing is beautiful, expertly capturing all the suspense, hope, and love in the story.... A delightful gem that will fly off the shelves."
– School Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
“A compelling puzzle, vividly drawn characters, and a clever and capable young detective.”
– Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
"Packed with the delicious elements—hidden passages, unexplained noises, suspicious servants—of a traditional British mystery, Lawson’s (The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher) story, set in 1907 England, will keep readers engagingly puzzled throughout its multilayered twists and tangles....Well thought-out and deftly executed, Lawson’s novel will appeal to a wide audience."
– Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)
South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee
Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Junior Title
Great Stone Face Book Award Nominee (NH)
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year Selection Title
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.
More books from this author: Jessica Lawson
More books from this illustrator: Natalie Andrewson
Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover!
Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love.