The Secret

When Dippy, Matty and Pippa discover a body by their derelict hilltop home in Cornwall a remarkable adventure begins. Their father Daddo is arrested for murder and they flee the country in search of their lost mother.

In Paris, Celeste lives an unusual life with little Zara, offering comfort to the bereaved.

Three generations of a broken family come together to reveal a long forgotten secret and restore a fortune in this intriguing and challenging story. For readers aged 10 and over.

Look and listen to the YouTube extracts

Age Range: 10+
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Format: B paperback
Pages: 208
Word Count: 56,000
Published: 2008
Reprinted: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9555096-2-9
RRP: £6.99
e-Books: £1.99ish

Cover of The Secret


Ah, buried treasure! Wouldn’t that be something. Yes! But I don’t think so, poppet. I think the answer is a bit more complicated than that. I think we have a skeleton in the cupboard. Do you know what that means?

  • Zara and her doll

    Zara and her doll

    Zara’s head was often in the clouds, along with much of the rest of her, floating away on thoughts and dreams because there was no one and nothing to keep her feet on the ground. She never felt complete and whole; there was always a part of her missing, a part that Pippy did as much as it could to fill. Conversations covered many subjects, but this was a fairly typical one:
    “Pippy, are you as lonely as me?”
    “I am.”
    “Is there anything we can do about it?”
    “You can run away and find the real me.”
    “I can’t run to England. It’s very far away.”
    “Don’t you love me enough?”
    “Yes, of course I do, but I’m only nine. I wouldn’t know how to get there.”
    “You’d find a way.”

  • Friends


    Zara wasn’t thinking about the money; she was thinking about Lis. She had never seen such a strange girl, half grown up and half child. She wasn’t sure, but she had a strong feeling Lis knew the trickery and was afraid Lis would tell her grandmother and they would never come back again

  • Captured


    The Chinese man was small but very strong and he held Matty easily. Dippy and Pippa were too scared to move. The Chinese man called something out loud and a few seconds later a Chinese woman, perhaps his wife, and a boy of about fourteen came out. They spoke in fast Chinese to each other and there was much commotion, staring and discussion. Then the boy turned to Matty and said in perfect English, “My father says he is very sorry and hopes he hasn’t hurt you, but he thought you were running away from somebody and wanted to help. Are you alright?”

  • Reviews


    I really enjoyed reading your book, and I thought it was very good. I like the way that in the end everything seemed to fit in and it all made sense about Zara and Werner and Hester. I think that the ages are about 10 to 13 but not much younger than ten, for some parts were quite complicated and detailed for younger children to understand. It was good how you could imagine it happening to you. Once again I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I hope it is successful.

    by Hannah Redhouse, London, aged 11