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Happy book birthday to The Midnight Peacock

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And then there were four! The Midnight Peacock is out today!

I celebrated the grand finale to the Sinclair’s Mysteries with a lovely breakfast with my editor Ali and agent Louise on Jermyn Street, just behind Piccadilly. It couldn’t have been a more perfect place to celebrate the final book, as we were just a stone’s throw from the location of Sinclair’s in the stories – and from Piccadilly Circus, which has a very important part to play in the final book.


Ali and the Egmont team also bought me the perfect present to celebrate publication day – a bottle of Penhaligon’s bluebell bath oil. (Sharp-eyed readers might notice that a scent that smells like bluebells is one of the things you can buy at Sinclair’s in the first book, The Clockwork Sparrow!)


Publication day treats!

After breakfast I popped into classic London department store Fortnum & Mason for some more Sinclair’s vibes, and to pick up some delicious macarons as a publication day treat. Then it was time to visit Waterstones Piccadilly to see The Midnight Peacock in the children’s section (signed copies of The Midnight Peacock and the other Sinclair’s Mysteries books are now available there for any London-based readers who would like one!)

Meanwhile it’s been lovely to have lots of tweets, messages and Instagram posts from readers about the new book. I’ve already spotted some great reviews, including this one from The Bookbag, and this one from blogger Booklover Jo. I’m so excited that the final book in the series is now out in the world: here’s a bit more information about The Midnight Peacock:

You are cordially invited to Mr Sinclair’s Midnight Peacock Ball!

The festive season has come to Sinclair’s and Sophie and Lil are spending the holidays at snowy Winter Hall. But it turns out that this is no ordinary house party . . .

As SINISTER SECRETS come to light, our INTREPID HEROINES find themselves faced with a more BAFFLING MYSTERY than ever before!

With the help of their friends, can they uncover the truth in time to foil a truly DIABOLICAL PLOT? Or will Mr Sinclair’s New Year’s Eve Midnight Peacock Ball spell DISASTER for the dauntless young detectives?

Prepare for shocks and surprises in the thrilling conclusion to the Sinclair’s Mysteries!

Find out more about The Midnight Peacock

Buy now from Waterstones | The Hive | Amazon

Add it on Goodreads




The Sinclair’s Mysteries are coming to Germany


Say hello to Kaufhaus der Träume (Department Store of Dreams)! Das Rätsel um den verschwundenen Spatz (aka The Clockwork Sparrow) will be published in Germany by Ravensburger on 27 August.

It’s been translated into German by Katharina Orgaß, and the illustrator is Alessandra Fusi. I love how different the cover is from the UK and US edition of The Clockwork Sparrow, whilst being just as gorgeous with its luscious Edwardian fashions and delicate Art Nouveau-inspired detail. How lucky am I to have another incredibly lovely cover?!

Pre-order Kaufhaus der Träume, Band 1: Das Rätsel um den verschwundenen Spatz or find out more on the Ravensburger website.




Happy book birthday, Quest!

Quest - Instagram

Hooray hooray – the Aarhus 39 anthologies are published today! Quest edited by Daniel Hahn and published by Alma Books features a selection of children’s stories from the Aarhus 39 – including my new story ‘Between the Trees’ which has been gorgeously illustrated by Joel Stewart.

‘Between the Trees’ is a historical story but has a rather different setting to my other books. It takes us back to the English Civil War – not a period we see often in contemporary children’s books, though I remember being completely fascinated by the classic story The Children of the New Forest as a child. Forests and woods have an important part to play in this story, which is about an unexpected meeting between two very different characters, Isabella and Meg, who are both on different journeys of their own.

Quest also features lots more stories from amazing writers like Katherine Rundell, Laura Dockrill and Maria Turtschaninoff, illustrated by some of Europe’s leading children’s illustrators.  Odyssey is a companion book for teenage and young adult readers, featuring more stories from Aarhus 39 writers.

Teachers can find some classroom resources for both books on the Hay Festival website here – and there’s also a chance to enter an amazing illustration competition, for the chance to win tickets to join us and attend the international children’s literature festival taking place in Aarhus, Denmark, in October of this year!



Two prize shortlists!


I’m delighted that my books have popped up on two fabulous prize shortlists! First up is the Independent Bookshop Week 2017 Children’s Book Award. I’m so excited that The Painted Dragon has been shortlisted for this award, alongside a host of wonderful children’s books (see above) – thank you so much booksellers and judges! There are two other award categories – one for an adult book, and one for a children’s picture book – and you can check out all the shortlists on the Independent Bookshop Week website here. The winners of all three categories will be announced on 23 June, just before this year’s Independent Bookshop Week kicks off.

Secondly, I’m thrilled that The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth has been shortlisted for CrimeFest’s Gala Awards 2017. This is the first year that CrimeFest have had a children’s category to their awards, and the prize will recognise the contribution novels for children make to the crime genre – hurrah! A new YA crime category has been introduced too, and there are lots of my favourites on both lists. The winners will be announced at a dinner in May: find out more about CrimeFest and their awards here. Thank you so much to the judges for selecting Jewelled Moth for the shortlist!







Hello to The Painted Dragon!


Hooray! The Painted Dragon, the third book in the Sinclair’s Mysteries series, is published in the UK TODAY!

I’m so excited that the book is now out in the world. I’ve already spotted it in several bookshops – and there have  been some lovely responses to the book online, including this fabulous 5* review from The Bookbag, and this wonderful review from Booklover Jo.

Here’s a bit more information about the book:

You are invited to attend the grand unveiling of Mr Lyle’s magnificent art exhibition at Sinclair’s department store!

When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery and deceit on all sides.

BE AMAZED as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle!  MARVEL at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with – no matter what dangers lie ahead . . .

This is their most perilous adventure yet!

‘I read it in one delicious sitting – a cleverly plotted, atmospheric page-turner with exquisite attention to detail’ – Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

‘Funny, scary, heart-stopping stuff – do not, under any circumstances, miss it’ – The Bookbag

One of my very favourite things about the new book is of course, the gorgeous cover illustrated by the brilliant Karl James Mountford (look our for Karl’s new picture book The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth which is also out today!) Karl’s interior illustrations are amazing too – here’s a sneak peek at one of my favourites, which is the first time we’ve seen Sophie and Lil in a picture:


If you want to get hold of a copy of the new book you can buy it now from Waterstones | The Hive | Amazon. Add it on Goodreads here.