Author(s): Abie Longstaff
The first book in The Trapdoor Mysteries, a series about Tally, a code-breaking, animal-loving servant girl and her best friend, a squirrel named Squill, who solve mysteries with the help of a secret library...Ten-year-old Tally is a servant girl at Mollett Manor. She sleeps in the scullery sink, and spends her days scrubbing, polishing and ironing (when she's not secretly reading books). Then Tally and her squirrel friend, Squill, find a secret library hidden under the manor - a magical library where the books come to life! When Mollett Manor is burgled, can Tally use the knowledge she finds in the books to catch the criminals? Can they even help her solve the mystery of her missing mother?
A delightful story, infused with playful magic, hilarious villains and a wonderful heroine -- Abi Elphinstone, author of The Shadow Keeper In this magical adventure story, a feisty heroine refuses to have her destiny decided by her humble circumstances. Tally is an engaging character who is brave, intelligent and determined to succeed Book Trust A delightful story, infused with playful magic, hilarious villains and a wonderful heroine -- Abi Elphinstone, author of The Shadow Keeper Charmingly illustrated by James Brown, this is a delightful story, full of imagination and peopled with a good cast of characters who come alive through their conversations. Parents in Touch In this magical adventure story, a feisty heroine refuses to have her destiny decided by her humble circumstances. Tally is an engaging character who is brave, intelligent and determined to succeed Book Trust Tally and Squill is my new favourite book ... I like that even though Tally is the smallest in the whole house she is the cleverest. -- Ellen, age 6 Primary Times
Abie Longstaff wrote the Tally and Squill books because she wanted to feature an intelligent, inquisitive heroine who solves crimes by the power of her brain! She was also inspired by her parents' house in France. The house is big and old, with lots of rooms and outbuildings. In one of the bedrooms, there is a secret entrance hidden in a fireplace. It leads to a room that was used by the French Resistance during the war. It was the perfect idea for a set of books! Abie Longstaff is the eldest of six children and grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and France. She knows all about squabbling and bossing younger sisters around so she began her career as a barrister. She started writing when her children were born. Her books include The Fairytale Hairdresser series and The Magic Potions Shop books. She has a life-long love of fairy tales and mythology and her work is greatly influenced by these themes. Abie lives with her family by the seaside in Hove.