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A tattered ballet slipper found under the floorboards of Braithwaite Manor may be the key to Clara’s sinister family secrets in this delightful, lightly Gothic mystery for fans of Maryrose Wood and Claire Legrand.
Clara Starling lives a life of dull rules, deadly routine, and flavorless meals under her cold uncle's strict regime—until the day Uncle disappears, leaving Clara alone in his old mansion. When streetwise orphan Peter and his rescue cat arrive unexpectedly, the children seize the chance to live by their own rules. But when the pair’s wild romps through the halls of Braithwaite Manor reveal a single, worn ballet slipper, they are hurled into a mystery that will lead to London’s glittering Royal Opera House and the unraveling of twisted Starling family secrets of poison, passion, and murder. Diabolical villains, plucky orphans, and glamorous ballet stars populate this absorbing adventure with a classic feel.
About the Author
Judith Eagle’s career thus far has included stints as a stylist, fashion editor, and features writer. She currently works as a librarian and library assistant. The Secret Starling is her first book. Judith Eagle lives in London.
Set in the 1970s, the story has its lighter moments, but it becomes more intense when events take a sinister turn. The lively cast of characters includes imaginative village children, a villainous exballerina, and a prince of Russian danseur. And while the ending may surprise some readers, it's sure to delight them as well. Eight full-page illustrations add to this mystery’s considerable appeal. —Booklist
Ballet intrigue and a neglected manor in the wild Yorkshire moors take center stage in a tale of who am I and whodunit. . . . Events unfold quickly, with Rudolf Nureyev’s defection from the Kirov Ballet a key plot element. Rioux’s atmospheric, full-page, black-and-white artwork lends a nostalgic feel to the work. —Kirkus Reviews